Customized Amazake Recipe

Try your hand experimenting with different amazake formulas to create customized results ranging from sweet to sour.

Getty Images/bonchan

Once you’ve tried your hand at basic amazake, you can start experimenting with different formulas to create more customized results. The ratio of koji to water or cooked grain will determine the consistency, but the sweetness of your amazake will be more determined by the type of rice or grain you use, both during the initial koji ferment and when you make amazake. For example, brown rice yields a nutty, fibrous sweetness, while white sushi rice has a taste akin to pure sugar. Using grain and koji without added water will result in a more porridge-like consistency. You can eat or drink the result as is, or mix in a little warm water if you prefer a thinner, smoothie-like drink. If you adjust the ratio of koji to cooked grain, the flavor, consistency, and quantity of the amazake will change, giving you plenty of ways to experiment. The nice thing about using cooked grains is it’ll stretch your koji supply farther, a real bonus if you’re buying pre-made koji, which can be expensive.

Fermentation Time

Fermentation Type: Autolytic
Primary Fermentation: 6 to 10 hours
Total Time: 6 to 10 hours
Shelf Life: 3 to 4 months


  • 1 part koji to 1 part nonchlorinated water or 1 part koji to 3 parts cooked grain (no water)


  1. Combine ingredients in a glass jar, and tighten the lid.
  2. Incubate for 6 to 10 hours at 80 degrees Fahrenheit for sour amazake, or at 140 degrees for sweet amazake. Store in the refrigerator.

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 funk and the magic of koji whenever possible. Kirsten’s books include Miso, Tempeh, Natto, and Other Tasty Ferments. Meredith is the author of The Ethical Meat Handbook.



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