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FUNDAMENTALS 101 Vol. 37 No. 4 Winter 2023

Kasujiru Sake Lees Soup

To conclude our overview of Japanese soups, we look at kasujiru, made from the lees of sake.

Sake is made of rice, water and rice koji fermentation starter. Sake-kasu, the pressed lees left over from sake production, are rich in nutrients, protein and fiber, and are used to make kasujiru sake lees soup, which warms the body during the cold months. Sake-kasu contains some alcohol, which is reduced during cooking. The lees are also used to make kasu-zuke pickled fish or vegetables. Kasujiru is most common in regions where sake is brewed, but the lees are sold throughout the country. Kasujiru typically contains combinations of daikon, carrots, salmon, yellowtail or pork.

Sake-kasu in sheet form and crumbled form


  1. 1 Tear a sheet of sake-kasu in pieces and place in a bowl. Soak in warm dashi stock to soften. Cut salted salmon*1 into bite-sized pieces, blanch, then place in cold water to remove any remaining scales.
  2. 2 Peel satoimo taro and cut into round slices; cut carrots and daikon into strips. Slice konjac in strips and boil for 2-3 minutes. Pour boiling water over abura-age thin deep-fried tofu to rinse off surface oil, squeeze out excess water, cut into strips.
  3. 3 Place dashi stock, blanched salmon and prepared ingredients from Step 2 together in a pot. Bring to a boil and skim off froth (aku). Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add sake-kasu and miso and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Add chopped green onion, season with soy sauce to taste. Remove from heat to serve in individual bowls.
  • * 1 Salmon fillet cut into large pieces sprinkled with salt may be substituted.
Vol. 37

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