Amazake is a Japanese fermented rice drink. Said to remedy the summer heat fatigue, amazake is a great drink to taste and try on these hot summer days. You can also use amazake in smoothies, desserts and sweet sauces.
As it is a product of fermentation, many people ask then:
Is Amazake Alcoholic?
Amazake is usually non-alcoholic or has a very low alcohol content. If it is made from the rice mold koji, it is alcohol free. If it is made from sake lees, it may contain 5-8% alcohol.
The reason why amazake is often non-alcoholic is because its fermentation usually starts from rice (starch), transforms into sugar (glucose) thanks to the mold Aspergillus oryzae, and actually just stops there. We don't go into the alcohol fermentation stage thus no alcohol is made.
They don't usually add some sort of a refined yeast as a next step to further ferment the sugar into wine and the lees is often not filtered out. Thus this makes the amazake sweet and usually free in alcohol. Kids can even drink it.
So for folks who wonder whether you can get drunk from amazake, the answer is if you're a light drinker, you may. If you're a heavyweight, you may not.
How Do You Drink Amazake?
You can drink amazake warm or chilled. You can scoop out part of the rice and mix it with one part water. People drink amazake in the wintertime with ginger slices or ginger powder to help keep their bodies warm. Heating the amazake to around body temperature is good enough. Because too much heat destroys the vitamins B1 & C in the drink.
Despite this, amazake actually started out as a summer energy drink. You can drink it chill in the summer. This drink is rich in minerals and vitamins to help people recover from the hot summer fatigue. As the starch has already been converted into glucose, the body unit of energy, it gives folks good energy to get going. In the summertime, you can drink amazake chilled or mix it with smoothies.
How Do You Eat Amazake?
As the rice from amazake making is often not filtered out and is actually edible, folks creatively mix it and the sweet juice (as a natural sweetener) in other recipes for enjoyment. You can eat amazake with desserts like pudding, tiramisu or savory dishes like chicken amazake.
For desserts, you can try:
For savory dishes:
- Amazake Chicken Miso is a favorite out of many
As amazake is naturally sweet, you can creatively use it as a sweetener in baking, mix it in yogurt, as salad dressings or in other sauces recipes.
Where to Buy Amazake
Amazake can actually be easily homemade. You can start with the rice mold koji (rice + the Aspergillus oryzae mold). It's gluten-free you can just get some on Amazon.
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