What is Amazake?
Amazake is one of the fermented foods that has been loved by Japanese people since the Edo era (1603-1868) which is made from fermented rice that helps nutrient digestion and absorption of human body, meaning Amazake helps abosrb nutrition in an efficient manner and turn it into energy. Especially during the hot and humid summer, Amazake could prevent you from suffering from the summer heat.
The fermented rice is made from rice and Koji-kin (i.e. Koji bacteria). I have explained the Koji in my previous article so please see a link below for more details.
Koji bacteria contains more than 100 kinds of enzymes that turn starch into glucose and protein into amino acid. In the process of fermentation, vitamin B is generated which contains ample amino acid. In addition, the Koji bacteria contains oligosaccharide and dietary fiber which reduce bad bacteria inside your intestines. Not just reducing bad bacteria but Koji-kin also increases good bacteria and enhance your immune system.
How to make Amazake?
There are many different recipes for making Amazake but let me introduce one as an example for you to get an idea of what Amazake is.
Ingredients: Koji 100g, Cold rice 300g, Hot water 300cc
How to make:
Step 1 – Put cold rice into a rice cooker, pour hot water in it, and mix them together.
Step 2 – Add Koji in what you made in Step 1 and mix them well.
Step 3 – Cover a rice cooker with dish cloth (please don’t cover a cap of the rice cooker) and set the rice cooker at a warming temperature (not a cooking mode). Keep it for half a day to a day.
Step 4 – Once what you made in Step 3 gets sweet enough, pour it into a pan and mix it well. Once it is heated, it is ready to eat.
Amazake from Teradahonke
You can make Amazake by yourself as mentioned above but you can also purchase Amazake at a supermarket or online.
“Teradahonke” is a company based in Chiba prefecture in Japan that makes 100% organic rice and relevant products made from rice such as Amazake, miso, sake, etc. The company has more than 300 years of history and Masaru Terada is the 24th head of Teradahonke.
I would like to introduce Amazake from Teradahonke as you can see in a link below. It is called “Ufufu no moto” in Japanese. Different from other Amazake, Ufufu no moto, a non-alcoholic drink, is fermented at a low temperature which creates fresh sourness of lactic acid bacteria. This yougurt-like drink, Amazake can bring good effects on your body from both Koji bacteria and lactic acid bacteria.
“Ufufu no moto” is in a cute, little bottle labled with its name in Japanese. The drink has a bit of yogurt-like taste but you can also taste the gentle fermented rice in it. No additives or preservatives is included in the drink. It is a very tasty drink, and at the same time it is definitely good for your health.
Teradahonke, the name of the shop that sells the amazake drink above, uses organic rice and organic ingredients to make thier products which are made from the Koji bacteria. Their Japanese sake, “Goninmusume” and “Katori” are also very famous. The picture below is the shop brochure.
Amazake for cooking
Amazake is also useful for cooking. One day, I added four spoons of Amazake into tomato sauce for a grilled chicken plate (see middle plate on the bottom row in the picture below). The taste of tomato sauce becomes more mild after adding Amazake to it.