Sunday, October 2, 2011

Making Amazake

Earlier this year, someone brought a jar of white liquid content to Master Ken's lunch potluck. As usual I was curious and eager to try something new. The guy who brought the jar of white content explained to me that it was Amazake, a Japanese rice drink. He warned me that it might be an acquired taste for some people. I took a spoonful to try and was immediately in love with the drink. It's sweet and made of rice. What's not to like? I started asking the guy how he made Amazake so that I can make my own.

Amazake (甘酒, [amazake]) is a traditional sweet, low-alcoholic Japanese drink made from fermented rice. Amazake dates from the Kofun period, and it is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki. It is part of the family of traditional Japanese foods made using Aspergillus oryzae ( kōji?) that includes miso, soy sauce, and sake. (Wikipedia)

A few days later, I stopped by Tokyo Fish Market to get some Koji rice. The Koji rice has an expiration date in 2012, so I left it in the fridge for the time being. Today I thought it would be a good day to make some Amazake, so I looked over the instructions that came with Koji rice and started cooking a cup of white rice. After about 50 minutes, I let the cooked rice cool down to 140 degrees (F) and stirred in 2 cups of Koji rice. The mixture was then packed into a clean wide-mouthed glass jar. I will now incubate the jar of Koji rice mixture at 131 to 140 degrees (F) for 10-14 hours.

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