How to Make Amazake with Rice Koji Only
Hi guys! It’s Mrs. Wada back on duty. It’s officially summer! Hot. hot. hot. How about some amazake, a Japanese sweet sake, to beat this summer heat?
I saw this particular TV show featuring amazake and one of the guests in the show is using a yogurt maker to make it. I have yogurt maker so I thought of trying it myself. But I learned that to be able to make amazake with a yogurt maker, it has to have a function to set a specific temperature, 60 degrees Celcius in this case. So I searched other ways and found out it is possible to make it using a rice cooker or even using a Thermos flask! I used rice cooker this time.
To make amazake, we need only two ingredients:
– 200 grams of rice koji
– 200 ml of hot water (around 60°C)
And, the following:
– bin with cap
– rice cooker with “keep warm” setting
Steps to Make Amazake
1. Sterilize the bin and other utensils.
2. Prepare hot water in 60°C and pour into the rice cooker bowl. Cover it with towel and set to “keep warm” mode. Do not close the rice cooker.
Ferment the Rice Koji-Water Mixture
1. Pour the rice koji (grains separated) into the sterilized bin. I used dried rice koji, so I didn’t need to separate the grains.
2. Heat up the 200-ml water until it reaches about 60°C, pour it into the bin and mix well.
4. Measure the temperature of the mixture. If it is below 60°C, place the bin in a pot with hot water and keep mixing until the temperature of the mixture reaches around 60°C.
5. Close the bin with a cap and place it inside the rice cooker.
6. Also check again the temperature of the water inside the rice cooker. Make adjustments when it’s below 60°C by adding hot water.
7. Cover the rice cooker with a clean towel and don’t close the rice cooker.
8. Let it ferment for 8 hours. If possible, mix the amazake once or twice during the fermentation.
9. After 8 hours, if it is sweet then it’s successful! Let it cool down and keep in fridge. Consume as soon as possible.
I wanted it in the following morning, so I prepared it before bedtime. Since keep-warm setting differs in every rice cooker, try to check the water inside the rice cooker again after an hour if it’s still around the desired temperature.
After 8 hours… Tada!
What’s the taste? Unbelievably, very sweet! I wouldn’t want to have it straight. It’s amazing it can be this sweet by just rice koji and water. Since this is pure amazake, you need to dilute it with water, iced or hot water, whichever you prefer. Adjust the amount of water to achieve your preferred sweetness. Me, I add it in smoothie and in making desserts in replacement for sugar.
The finished amazake will still continue to ferment and eventually will taste sour. To prolong the storage period a bit, we need to stop the fermentation. To do this, transfer the amazake into a pot, heat it up and once it starts to simmer (around 80°C), turn off the heat. Let it cool down and keep it fridge. It can last for about 2 weeks.
Have you tried amazake? Do you like it?
Thank you for reading. 🙂