Kasu: Sake's Multipurpose Byproduct

The byproduct of the sake-making process may not be internationally known, but it's an important ingredient in Japan. This byproduct is sake kasu, also known as the lees left behind after the liquid is expressed from fermented rice. These solids are separated during the pressing stage of sake production, but just because sake kasu is technically a leftover, it should never go to waste!There are many culinary uses for sake kasu. Many breweries vacuum-pack it and sell it frozen to supermarkets throughout Japan, allowing people to buy it year-round. However, fresh sake kasu that comes straight from sake makers is the best, and full of complex flavors. Sake Kasu is packed with umami enhancing compounds, making it ideal for cooking, but its characteristics will vary depending on the type of sake it comes from. In Japan, this unique ingredient is used to add flavor to many different dishes, including soups and marinades.Aside from adding flavor and complexity to food, sake kasu is very nutritious and full of fiber, amino acids, and vitamins. And on the beverage side, it can be used to make amazake (a traditional, sweet, low- or non-alcoholic drink) or distilled to make shochu.

Fish Files: Sanma Pike Mackerel

At RŌNIN, we pride ourselves on following the Japanese tradition of eating fresh and seasonally. Every morning our Chefs go to the market to pick up ingredients for the daily menu and our seafood is either local or flown in from Japan. We’re meticulous with our fish preparation and passionate about understanding their flavor profiles and where they come from. Learn more about the fish that we serve in our series, Fish Files.Sanma (サンマ) (秋刀魚) Pike Mackerel - When Sanma is available, it signifies that autumn has arrived. This seasonal fish is available from autumn until mid-winter and can be found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean. Sanma are normally small in size, ranging from 0.2-0.6 pounds, and are high in omega-3 fatty acids.This fish has shiny skin that's soft and chewy and normally left intact to provide texture. Despite being high in protein, Sanma have a soft texture, oily flavor, and when served raw, the meat is a dark pink/red. Sanma is commonly grilled with salt and served with lemon or soy sauce but can also be served as sashimi, nigiri, simmered, or pressed into oshizushi.

Fish Files: Mategai Razor Clam

At RŌNIN, we pride ourselves on following the Japanese tradition of eating fresh and seasonally. Every morning our Chefs go to the market to pick up ingredients for the daily menu and our seafood is either local or flown in from Japan. We’re meticulous with our fish preparation and passionate about understanding their flavor profiles and where they come from. Learn more about the fish that we serve in our series, Fish Files.razor-clamMategai (マテガイ)(蟶貝) Razor Clam - This razor clam is a bivalve mollusc in the Solenidae family, which is made up of other razor clam species. It is commonly found in the sandy areas of the different coasts of Japan. Razor clams can be eaten entirely but it is common practice to remove the stomach and inner lining. The meat is tender and sweet, although becomes rubbery when handled improperly.Razor Clams, Wakame, Hijiki.Razor Clam, Scallop, Shiso Spring Roll, Sweet Peas Vinegar.Razor clams aren't normally consumed raw and can be cooked in many different ways. Popular methods of cooking these clams include steaming, sautéing, and boiling.