We all have certain foods that we associate our childhood memories with. Amazake to me is one of them.
On New Years eve, to celebrate an arrival of New Year we used to go to a temple. It is our tradition to ring a bell (A huge bell that can weigh up to 70 tons!) 108 times. The number corresponds to the number of evil passions and purifies us for the new year. Anyone can go and watch or participate in ringing the bell. On a cold night like New Yeas Eve (it is winter in December in Japan) there is usually a stand that sells amazake with a pinch of ginger to warm ourselves.
it is actually quite easy to make and very comforting. Added bonus is that the rice is fermented with koji, (Koji seeds, also used to ferment miso)
Most of the commercial amazake are made with white rice but I like to use brown rice.
amazake cream recipe
2 cups brown rice
2 cups koji
1. soak brown rice with water over night
2. drain the rice and and cover with a cloth for up to 12 hours (this would encourage the start of sprouting process. This is not necessary and optional but sprouting grains and legumes are great to do as it can improve nutrition as well as its digestibility)
3. cook with 6 cups of water and pinch of salt for about 1 hour
4. The rice should be softer than usua
5. let the rice cool down to user 65 degrees
6. mix in koji
7. cover and leave it in a warm place for between 6-12 hours
8. taste to see if it is fermented enough (it should taste sweet) and blend in a blender.
9. use in your recipes or dilute with hot water for a drink
we serve this cream with raw apple and maqui berry crumble at dinner service in July