Amazake (甘酒, Amazake is a traditional sweet, low-alcoholic Japanese drink made from fermented rice. It is part of the family of traditional Japanese foods made using Aspergillus oryzae (麹, kōji that includes miso, soy sauce, and sake.
The basic recipe for amazake has been used for hundreds of years. Koji is added to cooled whole grain rice causing enzymes to break down the carbohydrates into simpler unrefined sugars. As the mixture incubates, sweetness develops naturally.
Amazake can be used as a dessert, snack, natural sweetening agent, baby food, salad dressing or smoothie. The traditional drink (prepared by combining amazake and water, heating to a simmer, and often topped with a pinch of finely grated ginger) was popular with street vendors, and it is still served at inns and teahouses. Many Shinto shrines provide or sell this in the New Year. In the 20th century, an instant version became available.
by Sandor Ellix Katz
From His Book, Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods.
Amazake is a rich, sweet Japanese pudding or drink that is one of the most dramatic fermentations I've seen. Plain rice (or any other grain) is made intensely sweet in a matter of hours by the action of a mold, It astounds me that a grain could be so sweet without any added sugar or other sweetener. The rapid digestion of the complex carbohydrates into simple sugars is the work of Aspergillus oryzae, the same mold used to ferment soybeans.
We offer naturally fermented miso aged in wooden casks using a traditional koji culture and time-honored production methods. Soybeans in their original form are very difficult to digest and assimilate. The fermentation process enables the superior nutritional characteristics of the soybean to be assimilated readily by the system. Miso is ideal for vegetarians who need high quality protein in their diets. The different kinds of miso, i.e. rice (genmai and kome, barley (mugi) and soybean (hatcho) refers to the grain that has been inoculated\'with koji before it is blended with the soybeans. The use of whole, premium ingredients and unhurried, natural aging in seasoned wooden casks give Mitoku misos and soy sauces depth of character and health benefits that cannot be duplicated by accelerated, high temperature incubation in plastic, stainless steel or fiberglass tanks.
Miso is a delicious and versatile soy food. Miso soup, sauces, baked and simmered dishes, vegetable soups, stews, salad dressings and spreads.
Aspergillus is most readily available in the form of koji, grain inoculated spores of Aspergillus. We sell Koji right here and also sweet rice too.
Traditionally, amazake is made sweet rice, a variety of rice that is not actually sweet, but high in gluten and thefore sticky when cooked. Amazake can be made from any grain, though. I especially enjoy amazake made from millet.
TIMEFRAME: Less than 24 hours
INGREDIENTS (for about 1 gallon / 4 liters):