Fermented Sweet Rice Porridge

酒酿jiǔ niàng


2 cups white sweet rice

10 cups filtered water

1/2 ball Chinese wine yeast

1/2 cup glutinous rice flour

1/8 cup boiling water

1 tsp olive oil

(optional) 1 egg

(optional) 1 tsp Goji berries

Ferment the Sweet Rice

  1. First, we're going to need a large bowl, a rice cooker, and a wooden spoon. Because we're fermenting the rice, we need to make sure all three are fully clean and dry in a dishwasher to prevent unwanted bacterial growth.

  2. Wash and strain the sweet rice.

  3. Add sweet rice and 1 and 3/4 cups of cold water to the rice cooker. Cook as you would the same amount of white rice.

  4. While the rice is cooking, place a Chinese yeast ball (also called Chinese distiller's yeast) into a plastic bag. You only need half, but it's easier this way to crush. Use a rolling pin to crush and roll it out into a rough powder.

  5. Add half the powder to your bowl and mix with 1/2 cup spring water.

  6. Once the sweet rice is done cooking, add 9 cups spring water to it, and use your spoon to gently break apart the rice clumps into individual grains as best you can.

  7. Strain the sweet rice and let it completely cool to room temperature.

  8. Once the rice has cooled, add it to the bowl with yeast.

  9. Stir and flip slowly for a few minutes until the yeast water and rice is fully mixed and water is absorbed completely

  10. Smooth out the top of the rice and then make a hole in the middle, all the way to the bottom of the bowl. The fermentation process will release a sweet, rice liquid into the hole you created.

  11. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap, and then put a lid on top of it as well. Place the bowl in a warm place for 3 to 4 days.

  12. By day 3 or 4, you'll see that the rice will have all stuck together and floated to the top of the bowl. If you jiggle the bowl, the rice block should easily move around as well. At this point, the sweet rice is done fermenting, so move the bowl into the refrigerator to stop/slow the fermentation process.

Make Sweet Rice Balls

  1. Once we're ready to make the porridge, the first thing we'll do is make some sweet rice balls. If you'd prefer an even sweeter vibe, you can add tāng yuán (recipe link) and skip to the next section. Or if you just want the fermented rice, you can also skip to the next section.

  2. Mix the glutinous rice flour, olive oil, and boiling water into a mixing bowl.

  3. Add 1/8 cup cold water gradually until the ingredients come together into a soft bowl. We don't want it to be sticky or flaky.

  4. Cover and set the dough aside for 15 minutes.

  5. Knead the dough a bit and then roll it into a long rope. Cut the rope into 1/2-inch pieces.

  6. Roll each piece into small balls or simply keep them as what they are

Make Fermented Sweet Rice Porridge

  1. These next steps will make 1 large serving of porridge, so adjust if you need to!

  2. Boil 1 and 1/2 cup water in a small pot.

  3. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to medium and add the rice balls or tāng yuán into the pot.

  4. Once the rice balls (2-3 minutes) or tāng yuán (5-6 minutes) float to the top, add in 1/2 cup of the fermented sweet rice. You can include a few spoonfuls of the fermentation liquid if you want as well for an extra tang!

  5. Stir the rice balls and fermented sweet rice for 1 minute or until the pot boils again. If you want a simple version of this porridge, you can stop now, and serve.

  6. If you want some extra treats, turn the water to medium-high and add the goji berries.

  7. If you want some egg drop also, beat an egg in a bowl and then drip the egg into the pot. Don't stir, because we want the egg to fully cook in small pieces.

  8. Once the egg pieces float to the top, turn off the heat. Drizzle some honey if you want a sweeter taste.

  9. Serve and enjoy!