Written and illustrated by Misa Ono
When rice koji, steamed rice and water are fermented, it becomes sake mash called moromi. Sakekasu is the remaining lees after squeezing this moromi while the liquid coming out becomes sake. Kasu (lees) usually means waste or something thrown away. But sakekasu is not ordinal kasu. Sakekasu is actually rich in nutrition from rice koji and yeast. I know somebody who drinks sakekasu soup every day and improves the skin condition. It is also high in dietary fiber, which helps improve constipation and skin health, as well as prevent diabetes and high blood pressure.
Sakekasu is not only health-beneficial by eating. Adding sakekasu into a hot water bath makes your skin smoother and keep you warm longer. You can also use it as a face pack for whitening and moisturizing your skin. So many positive effects for women! Other positive points of sakekasu are as sakekasu contains alcohol, it lasts long. And it is cheap too! This nutritious lees are not only for human but also it is considered to feed to animals too. Sakekasu is too useful to be called kasu!!
If there are 100 types of sake, there are 100 types of sakekasu. If sake is completely squeezed out from the moromi, sakekasu will be firm. While, if sake still remains, sakekasu will be in paste form. Also there is aged sakekasu with brown color. The taste, appearance and shape of each sakekasu differ. Find the sakekasu of your favorite sake!
Freshly squeezed sakekasu is white color and light in taste. The one of Ginjo-sake has a fruity flavor, and is great to make dipping sauce with cream cheese or raisins. You won’t believe that you are having sakekasu! Oppositely, the aged one that has been left sealed for a long time in a room temperature turns brown, becomes softer and increases in flavor and umami. It has a sophisticated taste. When you eat its dipping sauce, you can tell the difference between the fresh one.
The solid type of sakekasu is usually eaten fresh, toasted, added with sugar or soy sauce. You can taste a hint of cheese.
Just be aware that sakekasu contains alcohol. Even though it is heated, alcohol may remain. Do not drive after having sakekasu. In my case, I don’t drive, so I always have bread with a lot of sakekasu dip in the morning!