All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Sakekasu sake lees

An aromatic byproduct of sake production.
Despite the unattractive naming, which literally means unwanted sake leftovers, sakekasu is rich in nutrition: protein (14.9 g/100 g sakekasu), Vitamin B1 (0.03 mg), Vitamin B2 (0.26 mg), Vitamin B6 (0.94 mg) and folic acid (170 μg). It also contains "resistant protein," a protein with a fiber-like structure that is not easily dissolved by digestive enzymes and captures fat in the digestive tract, thereby lowering LDL cholesterol while improving bowel movements.

Amazake, a sweetened soupy dish, is representative of dishes made with sakekasu. Other typical dishes include kasujiru soup with root vegetables and kasuzuke grilled fish marinated in sakekasu. Sakekasu is also used in white sauce for gratin, baked items such as crackers, cookies and bread, and steamed buns.

Because it is about 8.2% alcohol, sakekasu keeps well in the fridge (5-6 months; best if finished within 3 months) and freezer (1 year). For the same reason, it can make you feel tipsy and lead to problems with the police in some countries if driving after eating too many sakekasu dishes, depending on how dishes are prepared. Take care when serving dishes to kids and those with little tolerance for alcohol.

Sakekasu comes in pressed sheet type (photo above) and paste type (photo at right). The sheet type has disappeared from store shelves in our area (instead of sheet type, the manufacturer, Ozeki, now has a sakekasu-based sauce-type seasoning, but it contains salt). Paste-type sakekasu is available at some grocery stores that carry Japanese food, including Central Market in Poulsbo and California-based Mitsuwa (online shopping also available). If there is a sake brewery where you live, it may be worthwhile to ask the brewery if you can purchase some sakekasu

227 kcal/100 g; 51.1% water, 14.9% protein, 1.5% fat, 23.8% carbohydrate, 0.5% ash

Recipes with sakekasu

(Last updated: May 24, 2016)

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