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The Unsung Hero In The Kitchen: Sarashi

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What is Sarashi?

Sarashi refers to a type of traditional Japanese cotton cloth. It typically features a loose weave, making it highly absorbent and breathable. Historically, sarashi has been used for various purposes beyond the kitchen, including clothing and crafts. However, its absorbent nature and durability make it particularly well-suited for culinary tasks.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Is this guy really going to write an entire article about a cloth?"

Yes, yes I am, dear reader. If you put "traditional Japanese" in front of "cloth", you will have my attention for the next 500 words because I love Japan and Japanese culture. You love Japan and Japanese culture, right? Honestly, if you aren't willing to read 500 words about the humble sarashi, can you really say you love Japan? Of course not.

It's settled. Hold on tight to that hot cup of green tea and keep reading about the many uses of the versatile kitchen cloth that's been getting the job done since time immemorial.

Using the Humble Sarashi

1. Straining Liquids

Straining broth

One of the primary uses of sarashi in the kitchen is as a straining cloth. Its fine mesh allows for efficient filtration, making it ideal for tasks such as straining broth or squeezing excess liquid from ingredients like tofu. You can also use it to strain yogurt and turn it into sour cream or cream cheese.

2. Removing Moisture from Vegetables

Drying vegetables

When preparing dishes that require dry vegetables, sarashi comes to the rescue. Simply wrap the vegetables in sarashi and gently wipe or squeeze to remove excess moisture, ensuring better texture and flavor in your final dish.

3. Substitute for Plastic Wrap

Covering a bowl

Want to reduce the amount of plastic wrap you use? Purchase a sarashi now. Use it to cover bowls or wrap food items. Does your bread dough need to rise? Cover it with sarashi. Does your pudding need to set in the refrigerator? Sarashi.

4. Making Onigiri (Rice Balls)

Shaping onigiri

Rice is sticky. Shaping onigiri can be a challenge. People often recommend dipping your hand in water to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands while you shape it. But who wants wet, soggy rice balls? Has your Japanese girlfriend ever said, "Yum yum, this onigiri is delicious. Wet and soggy, just the way I like it"? Of course not. Do what you were born to do: shape onigiri with a sarashi.

5. Coffee Filter Replacement

Filtering coffee

Are you one of those people that uses one of them new-fangled paper filters for your coffee? Brother, let me tell you something. There is no greater meditative experience in life than filtering your pour-over coffee with a sarashi like your ancestor, Tokugawa Ieyasu.

6. Cleaning and Wiping Surfaces

Wiping a table

It probably comes as no surprise to you that you can clean with a cloth. But you can literally become Japanese if you clean with a sarashi. Surprise! Now pick your Japanese eyeballs off the floor, wipe them with a sarashi, and stick them back in your Japanese head.

Here's to the Hero


Simple. Versatile. Traditional. Japanese.

Arigato, sarashi. We love everything you do.

The product we used: