Amazake is a type of traditional Japanese sweet drink, and nutrient-dense superfood.
There are 2 ways to make Amazake:
1. Made From Koji Rice and Steamed Rice
2. Made From Sake Lees and Sugar
Here, I will introduce the former one. Making amazake with koji rice and rice.
For the former one, you will need only white rice, koji rice, and water. It’s made with no sugar added, so you can enjoy only natural sweetness from materials.
Also, this type of amazake contains no alcohol, while amazake made from sake lees contains a little alcohol.
Check here for more details about the difference between those 2 ways of manufacturing method.
Let me introduce 2 recipes for amazake here. Both of them are using just 3 ingredients, and it’s very easy recipe!
1. Using Rice Cooker
2. Using Food Jar
1. Amazake Recipe Using Rice Cooker
Ingredients – 2.2 lb (1kg) of Amazake
・7 oz (200g) Dried koji rice* *If your koji is raw, use 14 oz (400g) of it
・5.3 oz (150g) Uncooked Japanese white rice
・1.5 cups (360ml) Water for cooking rice
・1.5 cups (360ml) Water for cooling down cooked rice
Please prepare a thermometer too.
Step1. Wash the white rice, and put it in rice cooker with 1.5 cups (360ml) of water. Cook it normally. Cooked rice here is softer than ordinary rice by the way.
Step2. After rice is cooked, press the heat retention button on rice cooker. Add 1.5 cups (360ml) of water into the rice cooker little by litter to cool down the rice. Keep adding water and stirring the rice until it reaches 140° F (60° C). If the temperature does not drop enough, add extra water.
Step3. Add koji rice into the mixture of rice and water. Stir well.
Step4. Keep the lid open and cover it with wet cloth. Ferment it for about 8 hours with the lid of the rice cooker open. Don’t forget to moisten the cloth once or twice on the way to prevent it from drying out.
Ready to drink when the paste become thick and smooth.
(It turns sweet after 4-6 hours after starting to keep warm, and it becomes thick and rich amazake after 8 hours. )
If you prefer amazake without grain, you can add extra water (0.4 oz / 100ml) or you can also make it fine with a blender.
How Do You Store Homemade Amazake?
Transfer amazake to clean storage container or bottle before storing in the refrigerator. Please drink it as soon as possible before it gets bad.
If you keep the homemade amazake in a freezer, it will last for about 2 weeks.
On the Step2, make sure to keep the temperature 140° F (60° C). If it’s higher than that, koji mold would be dead and amazake can’t become sweet. If it’s lower than that koji mold wouldn’t work well neither.
2. Amazake Recipe Using Food Jar
Food Jar is something like this.
Ingredients – 1.5 cups (350ml) of Amazake
・2.8 oz (80g) Dried koji rice* *If your koji is raw, use 5.6 oz (160g) of it
・1.7 oz (50g) Freshly cooked Japanese white rice
・0.5 cup (120ml) Water for making rice porridge
・0.4 cup (100ml) Water for cooling down rice porridge
Please prepare a thermometer too.
Add boiling water into the food jar and warm until just before using.
Step1. Heat cooked rice and 0.5 cup (120ml) of water in a pot on medium heat. When it boils, remove it from the heat.
Step2. Add 0.4 cup (100ml) of water into the pot, and stir well. Cool it down to 140° F (60° C).
Step3. Add koji rice into the pot, and transfer it to the food jar. Check the temperature here, and if it’s under 140° F (60° C), heat it again in the pot.
Step4. Put the lid on, and wrap it in a bath towel. Keep it warm for about 8 hours to ferment it.
Step5. Stir well, and it’s ready to drink!
If you prefer amazake without grain, use a blender to make it fine.
Information about storage and tips are the same as this: 1. Amazake Recipe Using Rice Cooker
How Do You Drink Homemade Amazake?
You can drink homemade amazake as it is. It’s very tasty if you warm up a little or drink iced amazake.
If you are not good at the unique smell of it, you can make your own version of amazake as follows:
・Add Citrus fruits juice such as lemon + Carbonated water into amazake
・Add a little bit of amazake into some dishes for example, yogurt, salad, and soup dishes.
What’s the Difference Between Raw Koji Rice and Dried Koji Rice?
There is 2 types of koji rice: Raw and Dried.
Whichever you use, the taste of amazake does not change.
Raw koji rice contains a lot of water and moist, while dried koji rice is dry as a bone.
It’s hard to tell the difference visually, so you should check the package of koji rice very closely to see which type of koji rice is it.
The amount of koji rice you need for the amazake recipe depends on the type of koji rice.
If you use the raw koji rice, you need to use double the amount of dried one.
Interested in learning more about Koji?
What Is Koji and How Is It Used?
▲Dried Koji Rice