The owner of a ryokan (Japanese style hotel) in Kyoto, gave me rich Sake lees as a gift, so I started cooking with them at home.
Sake lees, or “sake kasu” in Japanese, is the byproduct of making sake. It is really good for your health, because it contains rich nutrition such as protein, Vitamins, and dietary fibers. It is also effective in bringing down cholesterol.
Amazake; Sweet Sake
Sweet sake is very easy to make. Melt the sake lees in hot water and add light brown sugar (san-on-to), a pinch of salt, and minced ginger.
Sake lees 100g
Pinch of salt and minced ginger
*The important thing is to immerse the sake lees for over 10 minutes before using. It won’t melt easily like miso.
I poured the hot Amazake into a Hagi pottery ware, from Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan. Sweet sake is thought to be an inexpensive drink, because we usually use more casual cups, but don’t you think it’s like drinking a Japanese cocktail?
How about bringing sweet sake for Ohanami, to a cherry blossom viewing? It is especially recommended to bring along hot sweet sake to view the night cherry blossoms in the end of March or April.
This sake soup includes carrots, white radish, Japanese mushrooms, and green onion. Pork or Chikuwa made of minced fish are also popular ingredients for sake soup.
Like the same as before with the sweet sake, please immerse the sake lees before using, or mince them by food processor.
1) Cut the vegetables and boil them, except for the green onions, in Dashi soup broth.
*Dashi: you can use the easy-to-use dashi powder, which is sold in supermarkets. Or you can make pure Dashi broth by immersing a strip of kelp (about 10cm) in 500cc of water for 30 minutes, and then boil with the vegetables added.
Don’t forget to take out the kelp from the pot before boiling.
2) After the vegetables have boiled, melt the sake lee and a little bit of miso into the hot dashi soup.
3) At last, add the green onions on top and let the soup boil for just a little bit.
Sake Ice Cream!
I was wondering how to make sake ice cream after I had tasted it in a Japanese restaurant in Kyoto.
After searching on the internet, I have found several recipes for Sake ice cream.
1) First, immerse sake lees in water at a mild temperature for 20-30 minutes to soften, or use a food processor if you have one. It becomes very smooth after using the food processor (A). Ice cream-1
２) Mix 2 egg yolks and 100g sugar in another bowl (B). Ice cream-2
３) Add (A) to (B) and let it boil and mix slowly on low heat, like making a custard. Ice cream-3
４) After it has cooled, add a pinch of minced ginger (C). Ice cream ginger
５) Beat fresh whipping cream in another bowl until soft peaks form and add it into (C). Ice cream-4
６) Cool the ginger whipped cream in the fridge and then after 2 hours, stir 3-4 times to make a smooth ice cream. Ice cream-5
I’m sorry I’m not a professional pastry cook, so the look is not very nice, but it was really delicious; more than I could have imagined!
The ice cream still kept the fragrance of Sake.
Today’s Sake Lees
This is from Himeji, Hyogo prefecture in Japan.
The name is “Pure Sake Lees Just After Squeezing”.
Even before opening the package, I could smell the good fragrance of Sake.
Even for those who cannot drink so much alcohol, can try these three different types of recipes, because sake lees contain very small amount of alcohols or none.
How about tasting a variety of Sake lees in Japan? Fushimi in Kyoto, Nada in Hyogo, Kyushu area..etc. We have many excellent sakes all over Japan!