Sake lees or “sakekasu” 酒粕 is the residue of fermented rice or moromi もろみ after the sake is pressed. There are many forms of sake lees but it usually comes in sheets like the one I got. It consists of fermented rice, sake yeast, with some residual alcohol. I bought this some time ago. I froze it and completely forgot about it until a few days ago. I can immediately think of three dishes to make from this; 1. Amazake 甘酒 which is sake lees sweetened and diluted with hot water. It is a classic drink of choice for girl’s day celebration (March 3rd). It is too sweet for me and I never liked it. 2. Kasu-jiru 粕汁 is a soup made with dissolved sake lees (with or without miso) with vegetables and fish. This is much better than amazake and perfect for a cold winter’s night and 3. Kasuzuke 粕漬け meaning “sake lees marinated”. For this dish, the marinade is called “Kasudoko” 酒粕床. Fish, meat or vegetables can be marinated with this. If fish or meat is used it can then be grilled. The most famous vegetable kasuzuke is “Narazuke” 奈良漬け which originated in the oldest capital of Japan “Nara” where sake brewing as we know it may have originated. Among these dishes, I like the sake lees marinated grilled fish best. So, I decided to make sake lees marinade base and then marinate cod and grill it. The fish needs to be marinated for at least 2-3 days in the refrigerator before grilling.
I grilled the marinated cod in our toaster oven. This has to be done very carefully because it is very easy to “burn”.
Sake lee marinade base “Kasu-doko” 酒粕床
Sake lees: one package, 300grams, frozen.
Sugar: 3 tbs
Salt 1/2 tsp
Sake and hot water: as needed depending on how dry sake lees is (see direction).
1. I broke the sake lees in to small chunks (#1). Since my sake lee was kind of dry, I added about 50ml of hot water and covered and let it steep to soften.
2. I added miso, sugar and initially using a potato masher and then switched to a silicon spatula to mix as I added sake in small increments (probably ended up using about 100ml, #2).
3. I mixed it well until the sugar dissolved, then mixed in the miso until I attained the consistency of soft miso. The amount of hot water and sake totally depends on how dry the sake lees was to start with (#3).
4. I placed the sake lees mixture to sealable flat container (#4).
Preparation for cod:
I got two pieces of cod filet; serving for two. I washed and patted it dry using sheets of paper towel. I salted both sides and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.