Authentic Amazake (Sweet Rice Sake) with Rice Malt
All you have to do is mix the okayu (rice porridge) with the rice malt, then maintain the temperature in a stainless steel thermos to make amazake (sweet rice sake). Since it's high in nutrition, I recommend it not just for Doll's Festival celebrations, but also as a regular treat!
Lightly rinse the uncooked rice, then put the rice and water in a pot, and steam until tender for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (If using a rice cooker, set it to the porridge setting.)
Once it starts to steam, mix it to cool down to 65°C. Fill a thermos with boiling water to warm.
Crush the rice malt into pieces, and thoroughly mix into the rice porridge. A few minutes after mixing it in, the glue-like consistency of the porridge will become smooth.
If the mixture starts to get too cool, set the bowl on a double boiler, and reheat to 60°C while continuously stirring.
Discard the hot water from the thermos, add the porridge, then keep warm. In order to evenly ferment the contents, lightly shake the thermos every 2 hours.
It should be done after 8 to 10 hours. It's tasty either hot or cold. Enhance the taste with grated ginger and a pinch of salt.
Store it in the refrigerator. Storing it at a low temperature will slow the fermentation. It will keep for 1 week. If stored for too long, the lactic acid will ferment and become acidic.
If you want to store it for a long time, heat to 80 or 90°C, then store it in the freezer. It will keep for about 1 month without becoming sour.
Related recipe: Amazake Pancakes (Recipe ID: 2102914).
"Homemade Yeast Starter Made with Amazake" (Recipe ID: 2120477).
"Bacon and Eggs on Amazake Pancakes" (Recipe ID: 2123894).
"Amazake and Hassaku Icy Sherbet" (Recipe ID: 2124575).
Amazake Dora-yaki (Recipe ID: 2127156).
Another name for amazake is "drinkable IV", since it contains glucose, oligosaccharides, vitamin Bs, amino acids, folic acid, and other nutrients. It's recommended as a remedy for recovering from fatigue and regulating your digestive track.
If you drink too much at once, it will spike your blood-sugar levels, so I recommend drinking only 100 ml at a time.
Story Behind this Recipe
I originally made this in a rice cooker on the keep-warm setting, but a family member criticized me for wasting electricity, so I revised to an energy-saving recipe. The stainless steel thermos that was only used once a year on Sports Day is now getting weekly use since I started to make this.
The key to this recipe is to maintain the temperature and not to heat it at a high temperature. If heated too high, the enzymes will be destroyed, which will halt the fermentation. Use a thermos with a capacity over 1.5 liters. Glutenous rice will produce a sweeter taste, but it's also tasty with regular white rice.