amazake

Amazake (Sweet Sake) is a Japanese energy rice drink made from koji (Aspergillus Oryzae) and rice. It is known for its health benefits since Japan's Kofun Period.

Amazake contains vitamin B1, B2, B6, folic acid, dietary fiber, oligosaccharide, cysteine, arginine and glutamine. There are several benefits you can get from drinking amazake: promotes beauty and healthy skin, relieves constipation, relieves fatigue, and relieves depressive symptoms and PMS.

Not only is it delicious to drink by itself, but you can also enjoy Amazake in several ways. Amazake can be used as a sweetener's substitute in making sweets and snacks. But my favorite way is to mix amazake in smoothies! That way, you can enjoy the brand-new style of nutritious, delicious smoothies.

We will learn how to make homemade Amazake in multiple techniques. Let's try it at home and sip your own Amazake!


How to Make Amazake Based on Ingredients

In this part, we will introduce three ways of making Amazake based on the ingredient. One recipe only uses koji, theuses koji and rice.

What is the difference between these two?

When you only use koji to make amazake, of course the taste of koji will be more prominent. Since koji by itself is already sweet and fragrant. It will be delightful to enjoy amazake made only with this ingredient. In the end you would still dilute the amazake with water so do not worry about drinking an overly sweet amazake. Compared to the one mixed with rice, this recipe is easier because you only have one ingredient to think about.

The other way to make amazake is using koji and rice. This mixture will result in a more subtle koji flavor. For the rice, you can use regular short grain rice or glutinous rice. The better the rice and koji quality, the better the result!

Both types of amazake are delicious and worth trying if you want to experiment and find out which one you like the most.

Keep reading to find the recipe to make the grainless amazake that can be easily made only with rice koji powder later in this article.

How to Make Amazake Made Only with Rice Koji

Making amazake with only koji is recommended for first-timers. The only ingredient that’s needed is rice koji so it is quite easy to make. This one ingredient recipe is the quickest way to make homemade amazake.

By using only koji, you can enjoy the original sweet aroma and flavor. Even if you don’t add any sugar, you’ll be amazed at how sweet the amazake will be.

Don’t forget to use high quality koji for a better result.



Ingredients And Tools For Making Amazake With Only Koji

Ingredients

Rice Koji (You can use both raw or dried) 300g
Hot water (55-60°C) 300 ml

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Tools

Yogurt maker or rice cooker 1 unit
Thermometer 1
Bowl 1
Dish towel or cooking cloth (when using a rice cooker) 1 sheet

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* Important:
Wash appliances and hands in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. It is recommended to boil and disinfect all the tools before using it.



How to Make Amazake Only with Rice Koji

1. Add 55-60℃ hot water to the koji, mix it well.

amazake

Add 300g of koji into a bowl, then add 300ml of 55-60℃ water. Please measure the water temperature using a thermometer first. If the temperature is higher than 60℃, the koji mold will be destroyed. After you add the water, mix them well.



2. Keep warm at 55-60℃ for about 6 hours

amazake

Please warm the mixture of koji and water at 55-60℃ for about 6 hours.

If you have a heat incubator like a yogurt maker, you can easily manage the temperature.

amazake

If you are using a rice cooker, put the rice cooker in warm keeping mode, and leave the lid a little open. You will need a dish towel or a cloth to cover the pot so you can keep around it at 60℃. The temperature of the warm mode differs depending on the rice cooker. Maintain the correct temperature by opening the lid while measuring with a thermometer.



3. Amazake is completed!

amazake

After warming for 5-6 hours, the sweet scent of Koji will drift in the air. Stir the container well and there you have it, homemade amazake!

A delicious amazake made from only rice koji, without sugar and with 0% alcohol.

The sweetness of koji is pretty strong if you drink it as it is. If you want, you can dilute it with a little bit of water before drinking.

How to Make Amazake with Rice Koji And Rice

Amazake made by mixing the same quantity of rice and rice koji is called usu-zukuri, or thinly made. In other words, since it only uses half the amount of rice koji, the sweetness of koji will be more subtle and not as strong as koji-only Amazake.

It is quite interesting that you can make amazake even with just a little amount of koji. If you want a milder koji taste, you can go with this recipe.



Ingredients And Tools For Making Amazake With Koji And Rice

Ingredients

Rice Koji (raw or dried) 100g
Rice (Uruchi rice, Komachi rice) About 150g
Water 300ml

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Tools

Yogurt maker or rice cooker 1 unit
Thermometer 1
Bowl 1
Dish towel or cooking cloth (when using a rice cooker) 1 sheet

シンプルコード4

* Important:
Wash appliances and hands in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. It is recommended to boil and disinfect all the tools before using it.



How to Make Amazake with Koji And Rice

1. Add hot water to the koji, mix it well.

amazake

Add 300ml of water to 150g of cooked rice. Mix well so that the rice won’t clump together. Leave it until the temperature reaches 60℃. The koji mold will be ruined at a temperature higher than 60℃. So let's wait until the rice becomes less than 60 degrees by paying attention to the thermometer.



2. Add koji and mix well

amazake

When the temperature reaches around 60℃, add 100g of koji and mix it well. If there are clumps of koji or rice left, it won’t result in good amazake. Let's mix the rice and koji as evenly as possible.



3. Warm it at 55-60℃ for about 6 hours.

amazake

Warm the mixture at the temperature of 55-60℃. The time for heating is about 6 hours. If you have a heat incubator such as Yogurtia or rice cooker, you can easily manage the temperature.

amazake

If you are using a rice cooker, put the rice cooker in warm mode, and leave the lid a little open.You will need a dish towel or a cloth to cover the pot so you can keep around at 60℃. Don’t forget to check the temperature every now and then.



4. Amazake is completed!

amazake

After 5-6 hours of warming, the sweet scent of Koji will drift in the air. Stir the mixture well and it’s done. A delicious amazake made from only koji and rice, without sugar and with 0% alcohol.

Though this recipe mixes koji with rice, the sweetness can still be too strong for some. Dilute with water to reach your preferred sweetness. Enjoy!

How to Make Amazake Based on Tools

It sure will be a lot easier to have a tool specially made for amazake production at home. But most of us don’t even have such a thing. If you rarely make amazake, to buy a special device would be such a waste. But turns out, it’s totally possible to make amazake with tools that you might already have at home like a rice cooker or thermos.

How to Make Amazake With A Rice Cooker

Rice cookers are quite easy to come by. And with the variations of price, you pretty much have a lot of options to choose from. Rice cookers have a warm mode that is useful for making amazake. It also will be a lot easier if you have rice cookers with a temperature setter. But, the regular ones are also fine because you can maintain the temperature yourself.

The key point is to slightly open the rice cooker lid and put cooking cloth on top of the rice cooker pot to keep the heat from running away. Also, don’t forget to check the temperature every now and then.



Ingredients And Tools For Making Amazake With Rice Cooker

Ingredients

Rice Koji (You can use both raw or dried) 250g
Hot water (55-60°C) 300 ml

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Tools

Rice cooker 1 unit
Thermometer 1
Dish towel or cooking cloth (when using a rice cooker) 1 sheet

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How To Make Amazake With A Rice Cooker

1. Add 55-60℃ hot water to the koji, mix it well

amazake

Add 250g of koji into a bowl, then add 300ml of 55-60℃ water. Please measure the water temperature using a thermometer first. If the temperature is higher than 60℃, the koji mold will be destroyed. After you add the water, mix them evenly and make sure there are no koji lumps.



2. Keep warm at 55-60℃ for about 8 hours temperature.

amazake

Set the rice cooker in warm mode, and leave the lid a little open. You will need a dish towel or a cloth to cover the pot so you can keep around it at 60℃. The temperature of the warm mode differs depending on the rice cooker. Maintain the correct temperature by opening the lid while measuring with a thermometer.



3. Amazake is completed!

amazake

After warming for 8 hours, the sweet scent of Koji will drift in the air. Stir the container well and there you have it, homemade amazake!

A delicious amazake made from rice koji, without sugar and with 0% alcohol.

The sweetness of koji is pretty strong if you drink it as it is. If you want, you can dilute it with a little bit of water before drinking.

How to Make Amazake With A Thermos

Now, we will show you how to make amazake simply by keeping it warm in a thermos bottle without using a warmer or rice cooker.

Thermos bottle is great for making amazake because it can retain heat for quite a long time. Most good quality thermos can retain heat even up to 12 hours. Cheaper models can probably retain heat for only 6-8 hours. Make sure you are using a reliable thermos to make homemade amazake.



Ingredients And Tools For Making Amazake With A Thermos

Ingredients

Rice Koji (You can use both raw or dried) 250g
Hot water (55-60°C) 300 ml

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Tools

Pot 1
Thermos 1 unit
Thermometer 1

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How To Make Amazake With A Thermos

1. Heat up water in a pot until it reaches 60℃

amazake

Warm the hot water until it reaches 60℃. Here, the amount of hot water is 300 ml, about 1.2 times the amount of rice koji used (250g). This scale is important considering the evaporation during warming.

Before it reaches the ideal temperature, do not put the koji into the pot. We want to avoid ruining koji with unnecessary heat fluctuations.



2. Add the koji into the pot and carefully raise the temperature to 65℃

amazake

When the temperature hits 60℃ add the koji into the pot and heat it up until it reaches 65℃. Use low heat so the temperature won’t rise rapidly.

In general, the optimal temperature for saccharification of Koji is 60 degrees. If you use a thermos, there will be a slight temperature drop during heat retention. Therefore, it is recommended to raise the temperature to 65 degrees just before putting it in the thermos.

Please be careful about temperature control here to make delicious amazake. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. If the temperature rises above 70℃, the amazake will have a strong acidity.

On the other hand, if the temperature drops to about 50℃, the grains of rice koji will become hard.



3. Put the mixture into a thermos and keep warm for about 8 hours

amazake

Put the mixture into a thermos. After putting it in the thermos, measure the temperature again. If the temperature drops too low here, put it back in the pot and reheat it until it’s 65℃.

Close the thermos lid tightly and let it warm for 8 hours.



4. Amazake is completed!

amazake

After warming for 8 hours, the sweet scent of Koji will drift in the air. When you open the thermos, it should look like a porridge-like paste. The taste and fragrance should be sweet.

A delicious amazake made from rice koji, without sugar and with 0% alcohol.

The sweetness of koji is pretty strong if you drink it as it is. If you want, you can dilute it with a little bit of water before drinking.

How to Make Grainless Amazake With Rice Koji Powder

First of all, what is grainless amazake?

Amazake is made from rice koji, so it’s only natural for the drink to have rice grains in them. This thick, porridge-like consistency is one of the main attractive points of amazake texture. But, what if you want smoother consistency?



  • レシピチャート

    Regular Amazake

  • レシピチャート

    Grainless Amazake

Grainless amazake, just like the name describes, is an amazake that doesn’t have rice grain texture in it. If the porridge-like texture of amazake bothers you, you can try this smoother option of amazake.

The key ingredient to make grainless amazake is powdered rice koji. Just like amazake that uses regular rice koji, it is quite easy to make. Just by mixing the koji powder with hot water and letting it rest in warm temperature for a few hours, you can enjoy the delicious homemade grainless amazake. You can even use a thermos to make it!

Here is a recipe to make grainless amazake. For the tools, you will need one cooking pot, 1L sized thermos, and a thermometer.



%% recipeID=recipe-8kraaaj1x, title=Grainless Amazake (Sweet Sake) $$

Important points:
To keep the mixture warm inside the thermos, make sure to use at least 80% the capacity of the thermos. If the content is less than that, the temperature of the mixture will drop so the saccharification may not be optimal. This will affect the sweetness of amazake.
The finished grainless amazake can be stored in the fridge for 5 days to 1 week and kept in a freezer for 3 months.

Other than amazake, koji powder is also useful for tenderizing meat, to make pancakes more fluffy, and it can also be used as an additional seasoning in general. Koji powder is healthy and very convenient.



See Rice Koji Powder Product Recommendations

Why Homemade Amazake Is More Effective?

Unlike commercial amazake, homemade amazake is healthier because it doesn’t contain unnecessary preservatives. Commercial amazake is often heated to have a long storage period. Though yes, it may help with the expiration date, but it will also reduce the healthy enzymes that reside in amazake.

Moreover, when making homemade amazake, you can select what kind of ingredient that you want to use. High quality koji can make good amazake. By making it yourself, you will have more control over the amazake quality. Besides, you can make homemade amazake with everyday tools like rice cooker or thermos.

Preserving Amazake: How to Store and Heat Amazake

How To Store Amazake

Because of the yeast, homemade amazake has a storage period of about 5-7 days when it is stored in the refrigerator.

When stored in the freezer it can be stored for about 3 months.

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How To Heat Amazake

If you've made too much amazake or want to make it last longer, we recommend heating the amazake. By heating amazake, you can suppress the growth of germs and extend the storage period. After reheating, amazake can be stored in the fridge for about 2 weeks to 1 month.




amazake

1. Put amazake in a pan and heat it over medium heat.
2. Heat the amazake until it reaches 70℃, stir well to prevent boiling.
3. Turn off the heat, and keep it at 70 ℃ for about 10 minutes.

In raw amazake, while the enzyme of koji is alive, germs and putrefactive bacteria may propagate. Heating amazake will extend the shelf life and give it a slightly stronger sweetness and aroma.

After heating, the healthy enzymes that raw amazake has might be gone, but it is a recommended storage method when you have made too much amazake.

Delicious and Healthy! ~ Recipe using Amazake

%% recipeID=recipe-8kraalzvu, title=Amazake Marinated Chicken Teriyaki $$

%% recipeID=recipe-8kraavshi, title=Amazake Avocado Smoothie $$

%% recipeID=recipe-9krabprbr, title=Amazake Soymilk $$

Frequently Asked Questions

What does amazake taste like?
Amazake tastes sweet and very aromatic. The consistency is thick so it is perfect to be enjoyed hot during cold weather.

Does Amazake contain alcohol?
Generally, no. Amazake is an alcohol-free drink that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

However, there is a kind of amazake that has slight alcohol content. This amazake is made with sake lees instead of koji.

What is the difference between making amazake with only koji and making it with rice and koji?
Amazake made only from rice koji has a stronger sweetness, and the flavor and aroma of the koji is brought to life.

Amazake made by mixing rice with rice koji has a slightly modest sweetness, and you can enjoy the texture of rice.

I think it's best to choose according to your taste. If you happen to have high-quality koji, we recommend amazake made only from koji, where you can enjoy the original flavor and aroma of it.

I heard that you can make amazake with sake lees. What is the difference between amazake made with sake lees and the one made with koji?
Amazake made with sake lees contains a slight amount of alcohol so the taste might be a little more boozy than regular amazake. This type of amazake is usually added with sugar as well so the sweetness might not be as aromatic as the one made with rice koji.

Is amazake healthy?
Amazake contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, the essential amino acids, and glucose that is said to have an effect on recovery from fatigue.

Amazake is sometimes nicknamed drinkable IV drip because the nutrient content is close to an IV drip.

How to drink amazake effectively?
For amazake made only of koji, it is recommended to dilute it with the same amount of water or hot water as amazake and drink it between meals.

Drinking about 90ml at a time, 2-3 times a day, will help your stomach feel better. We also recommend mixing it with plain yogurt.

How do I make amazake with a rice cooker?
The trick to warming amazake with a rice cooker is to slightly open the rice cooker lid and put a cooking cloth between the rice cooker pot and the lid.

Most rice cooker warm modes are at 60 ℃ and up, so by letting the lid slightly open and checking the temperature every now and then, you can maintain the optimal heat for amazake.

How long does amazake last?
We recommend that you store it in a refrigerator for about 3-5 days.

If you want to keep it for a longer time, try heating the amazake. Though the healthy enzymes may reduce, it will suppress the growth of germs and extend the storage period of amazake. Heating will also give amazake a slightly stronger sweetness.

After heating, amazake can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks to 1 month.

My homemade amazake was fine when I drank it after I made it, but the next day, the taste is a bit sour. What should I do?
This is caused by lactic acid fermentation that happens in the amazake. Heating amazake will prevent it from becoming sour.

Is homemade amazake better than commercial amazake? What is the difference?
Other than vitamins, amazake is also rich in beneficial enzymes. Enzymes are a hot topic right now, and they are attracting attention in diet and cosmetology.

Enzymes are sensitive to heat, and when heated, these useful nutrients die. Most of the amazake on the market is heated to keep the expiration date long.

Handmade amazake contains plenty of enzymes not found in commercial products. So compared to commercial amazake, homemade amazake is more fresh and abundant in nutrients.

Recommended Amazake Products


Recommended Products for Making Amazake



Recommended Products for Making Grainless Amazake