This recipe is for a very basic amazake. It’s traditionally made with rice — brown, sweet brown, or white — but it works wonders on any grain. This amazake has a thick consistency; eat it as is, or blend it with water to make an amazake beverage. We recommend topping warm amazake with a little butter and some dried fruit for a fermented porridge. This recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups rice koji, but if you have more koji, you can play around with the ratios. We’ve found that a higher ratio of koji to fresh rice causes the amazake to liquefy more and become sweeter. It’ll also ferment more quickly; be sure to catch it before it starts to sour. Also, fresh koji will take less time than dry koji.
Yield: about 1-1/2 quarts amazake mash.
Fermentation Type: Autolytic
Primary Fermentation: 6 to 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours
- 1-1/2cups brown, sweet brown, or white rice
- 1-1/2 cups fresh rice koji or dried rice koji grains
Note: Don’t use distilled water, as the fermentation needs the trace amounts of calcium in tap water.
- If you’re using brown rice or another whole grain, soak it for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the rice.
- Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stovetop. When finished, let it cool to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the rice koji to the cooked grain and mix well. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart mason jar and tighten the lid.
- Set the jar in an incubation chamber at a temperature between 135 and 138 degrees. Incubate the mixture for 6 to 10 hours, or until it has a floral aroma and a mild, sweet taste. The cooler the incubation, the longer it’ll take. After the first hour, stir the mixture; stir again once or twice during incubation. If you want a sweeter and more liquid finished product, let it ferment a little longer. However, keep a close eye on your mixture from this point on; when it hits its time limit, the flavor will start to turn sour, with bitter or alcoholic notes.
- When the amazake is finished, move it to the refrigerator, where the enzymes will cool enough to halt the process. If you prefer a smooth texture, blend the amazake in a blender or food processor before cooling it down. It’ll keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months, or in the freezer for 6 months.
Note: Many recipes recommend boiling the amazake, essentially pasteurizing it, when it’s finished. However, this deactivates the enzymes.
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Meredith Leigh and Kirsten K. Shockey are fermentation fanatics. Their expertise spans fermented fruits, beans, vegetables, and meats. They’ve teamed up to spread the gospel of funk and the magic of koji whenever possible. Kirsten’s books include Fermented Vegetables. Meredith is the author of The Ethical Meat Handbook.