Amazake is an amazing asian sort of a fermented shake made using the mold infused rice called Koji. Drink it for breakfast, as a snack, or as a dessert. Here's how I make amazake!
- Boil 1 cup of white or brown rice in a pot with 2 cups of water. Turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes until cooked through.
- You'll want cool the rice down so you don't kill the mold spores. It's very important to follow this step. I use any kind of meat thermometer or kitchen thermometer and wait for the rice to cool down to 140º F.
- At this point you'll mix in 2 cups of koji (I keep my koji in the fridge) and then you'll mix all the cooked rice and koji together and put into a glass jar. I like quart sized ball jars but, any kind of jar with a lid will work.
- Now we get to INCUBATE the amazke mixture for 10 to 14 hours. You want to keep your temperature around 131º and there are a couple ways to do this. The first is that you can place the jar in a small cooler filled with water heated to 140º and every few hours we check the temp and add more hot water as necessary. The second way you can do this is similar to how I make yogurt. You can take the freshly mixed jars, wrap them in a hand towel and rubberband the town in place. Turn on your oven light and put the jars in the oven for 10-20 hours and also it to stay warm this way. I also have a touch lamp I like to put inside the oven to help keep the temps up. I just wire a thermometer inside the oven and keep the digital box outside the oven so I can control the temp as necessary. My preferred method is to use a piece of bent cardboard to crack the oven open.
- At the 10 hour mark you'll want to check for sweetness. (this is a great ferment to incubate overnight when you're not using your stove) At this point crack open your jar and give it a smell and a taste. (Be smart. If it smells funky and looks funky...it might be funky. Put a small amount in your mouth and be prepared to spit it out if it tastes bad.) You want the amazake to taste sorta sweet. If it seems not very sweet, let it incubate for a few more hours. Taste it a couple more hours later. Make it to your desired taste!
- You're final step is to stop the fermentation process. Typically we do this by refrigeration, but in this case we will boil the mixture. If we chose not to boil it and let it hang out for a few weeks to months we would basically end up making the Japanese alcoholic drink sake. If that makes you swoon then you should do it!
- I read online that a tip from the guru of fermentation Sandor Ellix Katz, that if you first boil 2 cups of water and add it to the amazake it prevents burning. Mix well and as soon as the amazake begins to boil remove from the heat and refrigerate.
- I like to make shakes with my amazke...adding water or coconut milk and fresh berries. But, you can also eat it as a porridge, add other fun things to it and make it whatever you like!