December 10, 2015

Making Amazake/甘酒作り

Two days ago, my son said something incredible. He said he wanted to have amazake. A few months ago, when I went to the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, I bought several souvenirs for my family and relatives, which included a bottle of amazake for my wife. The bottle was sitting in the fridge for months, and finally, my son had it all by himself. Now, he wants to have more amazake. I first thought about simply getting some store-bought amazake, but changed my mind to make it myself.
To clarify, there are two types of amazake, one made from koji (expensive but tasty, contains no alcohol) and the other made from sake kasu (lees) (less expensive but less tasty (some people may argue about this), contains a small amount of alcohol). By amazake, I mean the former type.

Unlike the previous attempt, in which I used koji and water, but no cooked rice, I decided to use a recipe that calls for a cooked rice, koji, and water ratio of 1:1:3.
Thus, I used about 400 g of leftover rice (frozen).
というわけで、残りご飯(冷凍)を約400 g使いました。
I purchased the same brand as the one I used previously.
The bag contains 400 g of hand-made koji.
手作りの麹が400 g入っています。
First, I microwaved the frozen rice to thaw, and put it in a pot. Then, I added 400 g x 3 = 1,200 g water.
まず、冷凍ご飯を電子レンジで解凍し、鍋に入れ、次に、水を400 g x 3 = 1,200 g入れました。
I should have used a bigger pot! I heated the rice for a few minutes in an attempt to make some kind of porridge. Before adding the koji, I had to transfer most of the rice to the thermos...
Naturally, I cleaned the inside of the thermos and pre-heated it with some hot water beforehand.

After making sure that the rice in the pot had cooled below 60 degrees C, I added the koji.
Be sure to crumble the block of koji into individual grains before adding.
I heated the pot, constantly stirring, until the contents reached 60 degrees C. Then, I transferred the contents into the thermos. I checked the temperature of the contents of the thermos, and it was 59 degrees C, so I added some hot water microwaved to 65 degrees C to the thermos.

At around 6:30 the next morning, about ten hours later, I checked the temperature of the contents of the thermos, and it was 50 degrees C. I transferred them to a pot,
reheated them to 60 degrees C, and 

and put them back to the thermos.
At around 11:00, more than 14 hours later, I checked the temperature again, and it was 59 degrees C. I transferred the contents to a plastic container and a pot.
I was so glad it was a success.

I really regretted having made amazake in such a haphazard way this time. If I make another attempt, I will use a recipe like this:
1. Take out a bag of koji from the fridge and let sit on the kitchen counter until it reaches the room temperature.
2. In a pot, put 400 g cooked rice and 1,200 g water. Bring to a boil, simmer until the rice turns soft.
3. Leave the pot until the temperature of the contents goes down to 65 degrees C.
4. Put some boiling water to the thermos to preheat, and drain.
5. Put the koji in the thermos.
6. Add the contents of the pot.
7. Check the temperature. It should be around 60 degrees C.
8. Leave for 10-12 hours.

1. 麹を冷蔵庫から出し、室温になるまで台所に置いておく。
2. 鍋にご飯を400 gと水を1,200 g入れ、沸騰させ、柔らかくなるまで煮る。
3. 中身が65度Cになるまで鍋を放置しておく。
4. 魔法瓶に沸騰水を入れ、温め、お湯を捨てる。
5. 魔法瓶に麹を入れる。
6. 鍋の中身を入れる。
7. 温度をチェックする。60度C程度になるはず。
8. 10~12時間放置する。


Yangsze said...

Sounds delicious! Chinese make something that is very similar called 酒酿 (jiu niang), only it's made with glutinous sweet rice. Very tasty and supposed to be particularly good for new mothers!

Hiroyuki said...

Yangsze: Thanks for your comment. I did some googling and found that the Chinese version is quite similar, but is fermented at a lower temperature and is denser than amazake.

Yangsze said...

Yes, the Chinese version is quite thick, like お粥 and has to be eaten with a spoon. Sometimes people break a raw egg into it, but I like to eat it plain and cold, like a dessert. It's better than icecream (but very fattening...)