Amazake is having a resurgence in recent years due to its nutritional wealth. Traditionally known as a sweet, low or non-alcohol Japanese drink, it is made from fermented rice. It’s part of the family of traditional Japanese foods made using koji and the koji mold Aspergillus oryzae that includes miso, soy sauce, and sake.
Amazake is regarded as a cold-weather drink these days but should be favourable in any weather. Thick and creamy, it has a taste similar to chocolate ice cream made with soy milk. Amazake literally means “sweet sake” and usually comes in the low-alcohol or alcohol-free versions. The low-alcohol variety is made by mixing sake kasu (the lees left over after sake has been extracted) with steamed rice and water. The non-alcoholic variety is made by mixing plain steamed rice and water with kome kōji, rice that has been inoculated with the fungus known as Aspergillus. It is the fungus we find commonly in many types of fermented foods such as miso and soy sauce. Here are some of the benefits of Amakaze:
The fermentation process that’s used to produce Amazake ensures the rice turns into syrup. The glucose and oligosaccharide, a pre-biotic that supports good intestinal flora growth. The amino acids and B-vitamins in the rice are also converted into an easily digestible form. These components helps to reduce constipation.The non-alcoholic version is often fed to weaning babies since it’s so easy to digest.
If you are beset by food allergies, Amazake would be worthwhile to introduce to your diet. Since amakaze is made from rice, it’s naturally gluten free. The processed milky rice of Amazake is a great alternative to those with an intolerance for dairy or soy.
Rice fermented with aspergillus might help your body eliminate toxins such as polyvinyl chloride, according to a Japanese study. The study compared blood levels of PVCs and other toxins in Japanese women who consumed the mixture. This was done with those who did not over a two-year period. Women who consumed the mixture eliminated more of the toxins than those who did not.
The Food Journal recently had a chance to speak to Mr Kohei Yamamato (above), the Section Chief Sales of Yamato Soysauce & Miso Co. Ltd. He informed us of his aspirations to market Amazake as a health drink to Singapore. He did highlight the benefits of Amazake for being high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. The drink also has B vitamins, niacin and thiamin. Mr Kohei does affirm that Amazake is the perfect food for people with poor digestive systems.Y
Yamato Soy Sauce & Miso Co Ltd.