It's Sedimentary

Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

Sake kasu or sake lees is the sediment left when sake is fermented. It is sold in plastic bags in the refrigerated section of Japanese markets. When combined with mirin, a sweet rice wine also found in Japanese markets, sake, brown sugar and salt, it makes a thin, creamy marinade for fish.

After grilling, the fish will be lightly glazed and have a slightly sweet flavor. Serve with asparagus spears or Chinese broccoli.


3/4 cup sake lees

3/4 cup mirin

1 tablespoon dry sake

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 (6-ounce) red snapper fillets

Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil

Process sake lees and mirin in blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Add sake, brown sugar and salt, and blend.

Pour half of marinade in bottom of glass baking dish. Put fish filets in single layer over marinade in dish and top with remaining marinade, spreading to cover filets. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator overnight.

When ready to cook, remove fish from dish and scrape off excess marinade. Lightly mist fish with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil. Spray stove-top grill pan or broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Grill on stove-top or broil until filets flake easily with fork and are brown on both sides, about 3 to 6 minutes per side depending on thickness of filets. Season with salt to taste while grilling.

4 servings. Each serving:

293 calories; 814 mg sodium; 50 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 30 grams carbohydrates; 40 grams protein; 0 fiber.

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