Kasuzuke (pickling fish or vegetables in sake lees) (粕漬け)

Kasuzuke is to pickle food in sake lees or sweet sake lees. It also refers to pickled food itself.

Typical foodstuffs used for Kasuzuke are vegetables, fruits, fish, and fish eggs.

Vegetables pickled in sake lees are valued as "Konomono" (Japanese pickles) and called "Narazuke."

The food pickled in sake lees has a light flavor while the one pickled in sweet sake lees has a sweet, rich flavor. If desired sweeter, sugar may be added.

The moist sake lees being not sufficiently compressed tastes better than the dry one that contains little sake.

However, the dry one is preferable for those who dislike a strong smell of sake.

Mix sake lees with salt, sugar, or sake to a pleasing consistency, stuff it into a container, seal it up with the lid, and keep it in a cool place to make it ripen.

If foodstuff is directly soaked in sake lees, the water would ooze out from the foodstuff and make the sake lees acidify; so it is better to pickle the foodstuff in salt beforehand, or sprinkle a dash of salt on it and leave it for a while, or dry it in the shade beforehand.

When pickling the raw foodstuff that contains much water, cover the bottom of the container with a mixture of rice bran and a dash of salt, and lay a perforated inner lid on it so as to let excess water drip away.

When puttting the foodstuff, fill sake lees to capacity so as to keep the foodstuff from sticking each other or to the container.

Pickling time is one to three months.

When pickling fish meat, sprinkle a dash of salt, dry it beforehand, and soak it in sake lees added with salt.

When pickling fish eggs, there is no need to dry them.

[Original Japanese]