Kasuzuke, or sake lees pickle, is a type of tsukemono (Japanese pickles) made with sake lees, the leftover from the refining process of sake production. With a deep aroma and slightly alcoholic flavor, Kasuzuke is perfect for marinating fish, meat, and vegetables.
Gather all the ingredients for Kasudoko. Put sake lees in a medium bowl and bring it to room temperature on the counter so it becomes much more pliable.
Check the texture of sake lees with your fingers. If they feel solid firm, add sake first and microwave for a few seconds until it becomes pliable. Otherwise, combine sake lees with miso, sugar, and salt first.
Using your hand, mix the ingredients and knead well until well combined.
Add sake a little bit at a time to combine with the sake lee mixture. See the consistency to see if you need to add more sake. Each sake lee brand may have a different consistency and you may not need all of sake (or you may need more). The consistency you’re looking for is similar to miso, not too loose not too hard.
Knead until kasudoko becomes paste form and then transfer to a glass container where you want to pickle your ingredients.
To Make Cucumber Kasuzuke
Gather all the ingredients for cucumber kasuzuke.
Sprinkle salt over cucumbers. The amount of salt used is 2% of the weight of cucumber. Here I use 500 grams of cucumbers; therefore, I’ll need 10 grams of salt. Using hands, rub the salt into the cucumbers.
Set aside for 1 hour. Salt will draw moisture from the cucumbers.
After 1 hour, dry the moisture on the cucumbers with a paper towel. And transfer the cucumbers into the misodoko.
Completely cover the cucumbers with misodoko.
Once the cucumbers are embedded, cover the container with the lid. Store in the refrigerator for half day (maximum 24 hours).
With clean hands, take out the cucumbers from kasudoko, leaving the sake lees in the container.
Slice the cucumbers and serve in a dish. Tsukemono is always served along with steamed rice and miso soup. Enjoy the cucumber kasuzuke within 3 days.
You can keep kasudoko in the refrigerator or freezer and re-use it for up to 6 months (depending on how often you use it, though). If you use kasudoko for seafood or meat, NEVER use it for ingredients that you will serve raw, such as vegetables. You will need to make a separate batch just for meat or fish. If your kasudoko smells sour or becomes watery, discard it.