When winter temperature drops more, we cave winter comfort dish more. Have you ever heard of Kasu-jiru which is made from Japanese sake-lees, root vegetables, and other traditional Japanese ingredients? This is one of popular winter comfort dish in Japan, which makes your body warm from inside. Sake-lees is known as Sake-Kasu in Japan, you can easily purchase them at the supermarkets and Japanese sake specialty stores. In fact, Sake-lees is a by-product of Japanese Sake brewing, and it is one of the important ingredient for winter comfort foods. Since Sake alcohol remains within Sake-lees, children and adults who do not consume alcohol are not recommended for Sake-kasu.
Kasu-jiru is usually translated as sake-lees soup in English. However, I personally do not think this adult only comfort dish is proactively promoted to outside of Japan. So, I thought I should introduce Kasu-jiru to you this time.
Historically speaking, it is unknow where Kasu-jiru originated from, but Kasu-jiru is general dish in Kobe city of Hyogo where many Japanese sake breweries have been around for may years. In Tohoku area where also lots of breweries have been around, surprisingly Kasu-jiru is not popular dish at all.
○ Add 2 slices of dried kombu sheet to 500ml water
○ Add dried Shiitake mushrooms to 100ml water until they become soft enough to cut
○ Slice carrots and turnip with 1.5cm thick in Ichou-giri style
○ Scrub surface of burdock hard and washi all mud away, then chop it up into random pieces. Chopped burdock need to go into water to take bitterness of burdock.
○ Cut salmon into big pieces.
○ Cut Konnyaku into pieces with a spoon (one bite size), then quickly boil them in hot water.
○ Cut deep fried thin tofu (Abura-Age) into slices
3. Important cooking point for Kasu-jiru
Please make sure Sake-Kasu (Sake-lees) should be well mixed with dashi soup in advance.
4. How to cook Kasu-jiru
Bring Konbu dashi and Shiitake dashi to boil in the pan. Add carrots, turnip, burdocks, and Konnyaku to the dashi, then cook in the pan for 15 minutes. In between skim off the scum from the soup. Add salmons and Abura-age into the pan, and when color of salmons changes add creamy Sake-kasu and Miso into the pan. Heat it up to the boil, and you are ready to serve.
Thank you very much for your reading!
Fiona. S xoxo