Homemade Amazake Recipe

Homemade Amazake

This creamy-thick hot drink has a rich, ambrosial flavor and virtually no alcohol content. A favorite at many Japanese teahouses and inns. In its concentrated form, it has long served as a natural sweetening and leavening agent, used in place of sugar.

Makes 4 Cups


2 cups Cold Mountain Firm Granular Rice Koji
2 cups water
1 cup white or brown rice, washed and drained


1. Combine rice and water in a pressure cooker and bring to full pressure (15 pounds).
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes if using white rice, or 20 minutes if using brown rice.
3. Remove from heat and allow pressure to come down naturally for 10 minutes. (Or cook in a regular pot with 2 3/4 cups water for 50 minutes).
4. Open cooker, stir well, and allow to cool to 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).
5. Mix in koji and pack mixture into a well washed (or sterilized) wide-mouth jar or crock.
6. Cover tightly and incubate at 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for 10 to 14 hours. (To incubate, float the container in a large covered pot or tub partially filled with warm water, or wrap in towels and place over a hot water heater, or place in an insulated box next to hot water bottles.) The incubation is finished when the mixture has a rich, sweet fragrance and the individual grains are very soft and moist.
7. Now stir well with a fork or several chopsticks to create a porridge-like consistency, or, if using brown rice and desire a smooth texture, puree in a blender or sieve. You now have amazake base, which may be used in either for the drink or natural sweetener. See recipes below.
8. Bring unused portion to a boil, then refrigerate.
To Serve As the Drink Amazaké
Combine 1 part base with 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 parts water in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Season lightly with salt, pour into preheated cups, and top each portion with a dab of grated gingerroot.
To Use As a Sweetener
Substitute 3 tablespoons amazaké base for 1 tablespoon honey (or 2 tablespoons sugar) in any of your favorite preparations. Rich in enzymes, it is especially good in breads, cakes, pancakes or muffins, where it assists the leavening process and adds a rich moistness.
To Use as Natural Sweet Dessert With Fresh Fruit
Prepare amazaké as instructed above and cool. Dice fresh fruit such as peach, pineapple, orange, strawberry or blueberry. Fold fresh fruit into amazake and pour into tall cups. Chill and serve