Delightful amazake

As I stroll on the 8th level, the food floor of the popular Yodobashi Camera in Osaka. A  photo of what looked like a white form of tea, from a tempura restaurant caught my eyes. Intrigued, I entered the place which was quite packed with locals. Luckily, the cute waitress found a spot for me. While I settled in my seat, thrill started spiraling in my curious mind.

My food selection is usually short because of my strict vegetarian diet. I ordered yasai tempura with zaru soba and a green salad. After 15 minutes my order arrived with a bonus of that white drink, I saw in their promotion poster.

Cheerfully, I asked the server about the mysterious beverage.. She replied enthusiastically saying that it is a traditional drink in Japan, for hundreds of years. It is called “amazake”.- made from rice koji.

Though it is sweet, there is no added sugar to it. Generally, it is consumed after eating as a desert potion, and it aids digestion – like probiotics. It is non-alcoholic, that even children can take it, she proudly expressed.

You bet,  I relinquish each drop of the delightful “amazake”right after my gratifying meal. Immediately I rushed back to my room in Intercon hotel, so I could chat with my Japanese healer friend about this newfound love interest. She was laughing as I inquired. She exclaimed that “amazake” is a well-known drink in Japan, how could I not know about it. Well, not to me I bursted – giggling like a teenager who just found a hidden treasure.

Reminiscing, I remember my mother used to give me “am”, somewhat similar. – when I was a young child.. A warm white liquid – with a bit of sugary taste, spooned from a boiling rice. She told me that it is good for the body and makes one strong. Is it the same as the “amazake?”

Apparently, no. Amazake is a mixture of rice and koji. Koji is the base formulator of the wonder refreshment and derived mostly from grains. . It is a famous mold with a scientific name “aspergillus oryzae” – also used when making soy sauce, sake, and other customary Japanese fermented nourishment.

To make a rice koji (amakaze), mix koji powder  in a steamed cooked rice. Blend together well. Cover the pan and keep the mixture in a controlled temperature, about 60 degrees Celsius. When the mold starts to coat the rice grains, add more water. Stir occasionally, putting the lid back. The rice koji, should look moist.

It usually takes 6-8 hours to make an awesome natural sweetness rewarding outcome. Transfer it in a dry container with cover, It will last for a week if refrigerated and longer if placed in the freezer.

To make it as a drink, scoop half a cup and add the same amount of water to it. You may cook it together, for a creamier texture or run it in a blender. For an additional zest, experiment by adding cacao or any fruit of your choice or organic herb.

This heaven sent nectar is loaded with vitamin B, major amino acids and digestive enzymes. When consumed regularly,  experience a fast fatigue recovery, glowing skin, lustrous hair, better metabolism, weight loss, improved sleep, healthier gut and an enhanced energy.

Cheers to health!

Namaste.

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