I am a little obsessed about fermented food at the moment. Amazake, which is a Japanese traditional sweet drink made out of fermented rice, is one of these fermented foods that I am loving right now. Amazake back dated in Kofun period and it is also mentioned in Nihon Shoki(Japanese chrocnikles) in 720AD. Amazake is a non-alcoholic Japanese drink and is part of the family of traditional Japanese foods made using koji (rice mold), which you can buy from Japanese grocery stores. It is a delicious, sweet drink that can be served both hot and cold!
I used to live and work near Ise Jingu (shrine) in Japan and Amazake was a sweet treat for us to drink on new years days at work. It was also served for free to visitors of the shrine on New Year’s. Although a fermented, rice mold drink may not sound very appetizing, it actually is very tasty because the amazake develops a natural sweetness. It is really refreshing served chilled in the summer or hot in the winter.
Amazake has the same ingredients as hospital medical drips, such as Vitamin B1, B2, B6, Folic acid, Dietary fibre, Oligosaccharide, Cysteine, Arginine, Glutamine, and Glucose. Because it contains Vitamin B’s, it promotes the metabolism of the cell generation and to activate the skin cells’ turnover so it is drunk by Japanese women as a beauty drink.
Also the Koji (mold) contains Koji acid, which inhibits the production of melanin, so the drink has a skin whitening effect. Japanese women also use Amazake as a face mask as well as a drink because of this skin whitening effect. The dietary fibre and oligosaccharides in amazake also promote smooth bowel movements, which eliminates rough skin condition (according to Miss.Beauty). I like to drink this either in the morning to charge my brain and body, and sometimes at night before bed when I am tired and want to revitalise my body. I hope you enjoy this recipe and I will be sharing more ways to drink this in the near future!
- 200 g Koji rice mold
- 1 cup of uncooked rice
- 2 cups of water to cook rice
- 2 cups of cold water to cool down the cooked rice
Rince the uncooked rice and add it to a pot along with the 2 cups of water.
Bring it to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Once the rice is soft, allow it to cool it down to 60-70 celsius by adding 1 cup of cold water.
Add the koji and stir then add another cup of cold water.
Place the mixture into a rice cooker, yoghurt maker, oven, etc. (anything that can keep it at 60c) and leave it for about 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot or leave in the fridge to cool and serve cold!