Looking for a delicious and comforting drink to enjoy during the colder months? Look no further than amazake! This Japanese fermented rice drink is sweet, warming, and packed with nutrients – and best of all, it’s easy to make at home. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to making perfect amazake.
- 1 cup short-grain white rice
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on your preference)
- 1 tablespoon koji (fermented rice)
- 3 cups water
Step 1: Prepare the Rice
First, rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. Place the rice in a medium-sized saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, transfer the rice to a large bowl and mash it with a fork or potato masher until it is broken down into small, grainy pieces.
Step 2: Add the Sugar
Add 1/3 – 1/2 cup of sugar to the mashed rice, depending on your preference for sweetness. Mix well until the sugar is fully incorporated into the rice.
Step 3: Add the Koji
Add 1 tablespoon of koji (fermented rice) to the rice mixture and mix well. Koji is a key ingredient in amazake that helps to ferment the rice and give it a sweet, slightly tangy flavor.
Step 4: Ferment the Rice Mixture
Transfer the rice mixture to a large, clean glass jar with a lid. Add 3 cups of water to the jar, making sure all of the rice is submerged. Cover the jar tightly with the lid and set it aside in a warm, dark place to ferment for 8-10 hours.
During the fermentation process, the koji will break down the starches in the rice into simple sugars, which will give the amazake its sweet flavor.
Step 5: Blend and Strain
After the 8-10 hours of fermentation, the rice mixture should be thick and slightly bubbly. Use a blender to blend the mixture until smooth and creamy, then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan or bowl. The mixture should be silky and smooth with no lumps.
Step 6: Heat and Enjoy
Heat the amazake gently over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once it’s heated through, pour it into cups or mugs and enjoy!
A Few Tips…
- Amazake is traditionally served cold, but you can also enjoy it warm or hot.
- For a creamier, richer amazake, try using soy milk instead of water in Step 4.
- For a fun flavor twist, try adding a teaspoon of matcha powder or a splash of vanilla extract before blending the amazake in Step 5.
Enjoy your homemade amazake – the perfect warm and comforting drink for any chilly day!