Amazake is a sweet beverage made from fermented rice. It is typically served as a warm drink flavored with fresh ginger. But it can also be used as a natural sweetener or a vegan dairy alternative.
Amazake’s sweetness naturally arises from the breakdown of the complex carbohydrates in rice to simple sugars through koji fermentation.
The fermentation improves the nutritional value of rice, containing a number of vitamins and minerals. And like many fermented foods, it is good for gut health and digestion.
How to Use Amazake
Homemade amazake has a sweet and toasty flavor. It is very versatile and can be used both as a beverage or for baking. Here are a few ways to use your koji amazake:
1. Warming Beverage
It is delicious served as a warm beverage. For a traditional Japanese spiced warm beverage:
- Mix 1 part amazake with 1 part boiling water.
- Taste, and add more water if necessary.
- Served with a pinch of grated fresh ginger. (I also like to add a pinch of ground cinnamon).
2. Vegan Milk Substitute
Homemade amazake is a rich and delicious substitute for milk. It can be used for both hot and cold beverages or poured over a bowl of cereal.
To turn the rice paste into a vegan milk substitute, mix 1 part amazake with 2 parts water. Taste, and add more water, to taste.
3. For baking
Use it as a milk substitute in baking. Since it is naturally sweet, you can reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe, or skip it altogether! (I’m pretty big into sugar-free baking!)
Naturally sweet, it is perfect for dessert.
- To make your own fermented rice pudding, follow my quinoa pudding recipe, using amazake instead! It’s delicious with vanilla, chocolate, or butterscotch flavors!
- Make a vegan chocolate banana ice cream, using amazake instead of coconut milk!
Amazake is a sweet toasty beverage made from fermented rice. It is delicious, served warm with fresh ginger, or used as a vegan dairy substitute. See the sections above for 4 different serving options.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Diet: Vegan
- 1/2 cup rice (white or brown)
- 1 1/2 cups of water (for cooking
- 1/2 cup koji rice
- 1/2 cup water (chlorine-free, enough to cover)
- Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to wash away the starch.
- Bring the rice and water to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, until soft. Immediately drain off the excess water.
- Allow the rice to cool to around 130 F (60 C).
- Mix in koji rice. Then pack the rice mixture into a glass jar for fermentation.
- Cover with water (about 1/2 cup, as needed), then cap with a lid to keep the moisture in while fermenting. It is anaerobic and doesn’t release CO2 like other ferments, so you don’t need to worry about using a fermentation-specific lid.
- Incubate at 130 F (60 C) for up to 16 hours. See notes for advice on how to incubate.
- After fermenting, puree into a smooth paste. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. It should last for 1 month in the fridge. Otherwise, freeze for long-term storage.
- To turn amazake into a beverage, mix 1 part rice paste with 1 part of water. See the section above for 4 serving options.
- This is quite a hot ferment, compared to yogurt and tempeh. The easiest way to maintain the right temperature is to use a rice cooker or a slow cooker set on warm.
- If you really get into fermenting, I recommend a Brød & Taylor Slow Cooker which I use for most of my ferments.
Keywords: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, milk, probiotic, breakfast, baking, fall, winter