Fancy some Sikhye?

If you are a rice mixed with milk type of person then you’ll most probably love this drink. Or maybe not…

Sikhye is a traditional sweet Korean rice beverage, usually served as a dessert. The rice gets fermented in malt water. In addition to its liquid ingredients, sikhye also contains grains of cooked rice, and in some cases pine nuts.

Sikhye is known to help your digestion. The taste of sikhye depends on the powdered malt used. Powdered malt is significant not only for its taste but also for its nutritional value. Malt contains a diastatic enzyme, amylase, which breaks down starch into maltose. Maltose is the source of the unique sweetness of sikhye. Thus, sikhye tastes sweet without the need to add artificial sweeteners or seasonings.

When making sikhye, what you need to do first is to mix warm water and powdered malt and leave it for three to four hours until the water becomes yellowish. The next step is to mix hard-boiled rice with the malt water in a small earthenware crock and keep it warm for four to five hours. At this time, the temperature should be kept at 60 to 70 degrees because lower or higher temperatures would spoil the fermentation process. After about four hours, open the crock and check to see if the grains of rice are floating. If the grains are floating take the rice out of the crock using a strainer, rinse it with cold water and keep place it in a separate container. The next step is to boil the remaining water and add some sugar to taste. The foam that appears on the surface while boiling should be removed with a cooking spoon.