Salmon Kasuzuke Recipe


Salmon kasuzuke is very fragrant and delicious. Salmon teriyaki is popular in the United States, but in Japan, kasuzuke is more common way of eating salmon as well as cured salmon.

Kasuzuke is pickled food in sake kasu (lees), which is by-product of sake brewing. The food could be vegetables, fish, meat, chicken… anything. It preserves food, and add nutrients and flavor. After finish pickling, vegetables are eaten without being cooked, but fish, meat, chicken are cooked.

I pickled salmon fillets, but any kind of filleted fish or beef, chicken, pork can be pickled. It is a convenient and clever way of minimize food waste and add nice flavor and extra nutrition at the same time.

Sake kasu is leftover after sake mash is pressed. You will get this if you brew sake on your own. If you don’t brew sake, you could buy sake kasu, but it’s not easy to find. Here are the sellers.

Sake kasu can be used for various cooking purposes, amazake, miso soup, pickling bed, to name a few.


  • 4 slices of salmon or other fish fillets (you can use pork, beef, chicken as well)
  • about 3/4 lb sake kasu
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • salt


Spread fillets on flat surface and sprinkle salt generously on both sides. Set it aside for about 15 minutes.

While waiting, mix sake kasu and mirin in a suribachi. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to speed up the mixing process.

Depending on the hardness of sake kasu, it may be little difficult to incorporate with mirin. If sake kasu is too hard, add extra mirin or small amount of sake.
Using paper towel, remove excess amount of water which came out from the fillets.

Just as you would make lasagna, layer the sake kasu mixture and fillets to cover the fillets completely.

Put a lid on and keep the container in a fridge. You can eat from the 3rd day and good through about 7th day. The fillets won't go bad even after that, but they will be pickled too much. If you still have left over after a week, plastic wrap the fish individually and freeze, after removing the sake kasu. This will stop the further pickling process. Thaw in room temperature (without using microwave) before cooking.

You can recycle the pickling bed about 3 times. After the 3rd use, the pickling bed can be added in hotpot soup or miso soup. Just make sure to cook the soup well. Absolutely no waste here!
You can either use a fish grill or a lightly greased pan to cook. Don't wash the fish before cooking, but remove the sake kasu mix with hand or paper towel to prevent scorching. Use medium low heat and watch carefully not to burn.

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