Feb 12, 2020 | Recipes, Spring | 2 comments

Salmon Saké Kasu Chowder


A belly-warming salmon and root vegetable chowder, shaké no kasu-jiru, is standard wintertime fare throughout Japan’s northeastern region, the Tohoku.

Every household seems to have its own rendition, but with this master recipe in hand (Salmon kasu-jiru BASIC RECIPE) you can create your own house version. ENJOY!

NOTHING goes to waste in the Japanese kitchen!

Saké kasu, the fermented lees that are a by-product of brewing saké, are used to season a delicious, chunky chowder that frequently becomes the main course at family suppers in the Tohoku (Northeast) region of Japan. Saké kasu is often sold in flat sheets called ita kasu, or in broken chunks. Look in the refrigerated case of your local Asian grocery.

Join the conversation. Leave a comment or ask a question below.


  1. fresh

    Thanks a lot for your diligent, regular posting — I’m always looking forward to them and enjoy them a lot.
    Generally, I personally prefer the softer varieties of the kasu, as these mostly are from the more carefully pressed, premium nihonshu in a brewery’s lineup. IMHO, more of the tasty, good stuff remaining in the kasu.

    BTW, have been thinking of you every day, as fuji-san was visible every day during this week.

    • Elizabeth Andoh

      Kochira koso (I am the one to thank YOU) for your loyal readership. Because kasu is a by-product of making nihonshu it will retain the flavor profile of the saké from which it is made. Depending upon what I am making with the kasu my preferred texture will change. For this soup, a smoother miso-like consistency is easiest to use. But if all you can find is a lumpy paste or rough-textured chunks, I suggest you mash and/or grind first to make a smooth paste.

      The weather in Tokyo has varied this past week from clear I-can-see-Mt-Fuji days to quite cloudy, even rainy days.

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