This was my first time making and tasting Ama-zake.
The literal translation of Ama-zake is “sweet Sake”, but it does not contain any alcohol.
This is a popular drink in Japan usually served around new year, but I hear that it has become a popular drink and now a lot of people drink it all year around.
To tell the truth, I’ve never been interested in Ama-zake until I saw this at a local Asian grocery store.
This is called “Rice Koji”, one of the key ingredients (there are only three ingredients to make Ama-zake: rice koji, rice, and water).
According to this site, “rice koji” is cooked rice, inoculated with a certain kind of mold, and this mold is used to ferment the rice to create Ama-zake.
This is what rice koji looks like.
To make ama-zake, first you cook rice (I used brown rice) to make porridge.
Puree the rice (it does not need to be pureed, but it is supposed to enhance the sweetening process when you use brown rice instead of white rice).
Add the crumbled rice koji, cover, and let them do whatever they need to do.
At this point, all you have to do is to keep the temperature between 55 and 60 degrees Celsius, for 8 to 10 hours.
It definitely has some unique taste to it, and I can see this is one of those food/beverages you either love it or hate it.
I actually really liked it.
It’s quite sweet as it is, so you usually add some water to it to balance the sweetness.
It is categorized as a beverage, but there are some solids left, so I use a spoon and eat it like soup.
I’ve been having ama-zake for breakfast the last few days, and I’m really liking this new habit.
I add a little flaxseed meal or some kind of spice, like cinnamon, to it.
Ama-zake is supposed to be really good for your health.
My father drinks ama-zake everyday, and my family is convinced that daily intake of ama-zake is the reason why he has such a young-looking skin (he really does!).