Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Sik Hye (Korean Rice Punch)
My family and I once ate in a Korean restaurant and, after the meal, they served us small cups containing a pale liquid with some grains of rice floating on top. It was delightfully cold and refreshing and slightly sweet. I found out later on that it was called Sik Hye or Korean Rice Punch.
My mom liked it so much that I promised I would make some for her. So, after a quick trip to a Korean grocery store to pick up the malt flour, I began to make the punch. It's not a difficult process, but several of the steps do take a lot of time.
You begin by mixing the malt flour with the water and then letting it sit for about 2 hours so that all the malt can settle to the bottom, leaving a yellowish liquid on top that will be flavored with the malt. At the same time, you need to make a cup of rice either in a rice cooker or on the stove. Make sure that it is a short-grained rice (like Japanese sticky rice).
Once the water has completely separated from the malt, carefully remove it and leave the malt behind. The malt can be discarded. Then, add the water to the rice in your rice cooker or in a slow cooker. It will need to be kept on the "warm" setting for about 2-3 hours so that the rice can ferment in the water. You'll know when the fermentation process is complete because a few rice grains will float to the top. Don't worry, after this step, you're almost done.
Finally, you'll strain the fermented liquid from the rice (do save the rice) and set it in a pot on the stove with some sugar. Let it boil. Then, you can either drink it warm or you can chill it. Add a little spoonful of the reserved rice to your cup of punch.
What with the warmer summer months here, I will definitely be making this delicious drink again. It's just the thing to make you feel nice and cool on the inside and add a little sweetness to your day.
Sik Hye (Korean Rice Punch) adapted from Beyond Kimchi
1 c. malt flour
1 c. short-grained rice
6 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
Soak the barley malt in water for 2 hours. All the malt should sink to the bottom. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a rice cooker or in a pot.
Pour off the water only from the malt mixture, taking care not to stir up the malt. Discard the malt.
Pour malt water over cooked rice and keep over low heat for 2-3 hours (either in the rice cooker or in a slow cooker on the warm setting). A few rice grains should float to the surface at the end.
Strain the rice from the liquid mixture. Put the liquid into a pot and add the sugar. Boil the mixture. Serve chilled with a little of the reserved rice.
Note: Malt flour can be found in any Korean grocery store.
This recipe is linked to:
Cast Party Wednesday
These Chicks Cooked
Made it on Monday