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Author Notes: This ultra-sweet beverage is made with nothing more than rice, water and a lovely Japanese fungus known as koji. The koji converts the rice starches to sugar and packs the drink with all those good probiotics you keep hearing about. Amazake can be sipped hot or cold and can even be pureed, strained, and used in place of rice or almond milk. Versatile, healthful, tasty stuff.
—Andrea Bearce Duty
Makes 4 cups
cups rice, any kind but white is traditional
cups rice koji (source from amazon.com)
- Rinse the rice in cold water several times until the water runs clear.
- Cook the rice with 1 3/4 cup water according to your rice cooker’s instructions. Once cooked, put the rice in a medium size bowl and allow it to cool to at least 140 degrees. This is extremely important as koji cannot live above that temperature.
- Crumble the koji into the cooked rise and stir to incorporate. Return the rice to the rice cooker and stir in 3 1/2 cups warm water. Turn the rice cooker on to “warm” and cover with a cloth towel. Leave the lid fully open so it does not get too hot.
- Allow the rice to ferment for 8-12 hours. You will know it’s done when it becomes intensely sweet.
- Pour the amazake into bottles or jars and drink cool or hot, blended or not.