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
Whisking Wednesday
These Chicks Cooked
Made it on Monday


  1. neat presentation..lovely post...thanks for sharing..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  2. How interesting! I really love Korean culture (particularly KPOP industry haha) but I've never really found out much about their cuisine. Thanks for enlightening me. I bet your Mom was pleased about this

  3. I've never heard of this beverage before. Sounds interesting and something I'd love to try sometime.

  4. That sounds very refreshing. I love rice, so I'm sure I'd love this too. How sweet of you to make it for your mom :)

  5. Olá, Lisa, vim te visitar.
    Que bacana essa receita.
    Sucesso pra você.


  6. Have not tried this before. This is totally new to me.

  7. Look nice and special Lisa! gloria

  8. Absolutely fantastic!
    I love Korean Rice Punch!!
    Thanks, Lisa! I enjoyed the visit. :)

  9. What an interesting post. Thanks for sharing that recipe.

  10. I've never heard of this but it sounds delightfully delicious!

  11. This sounds really interesting and refreshing!

  12. Oh that sounds good.

    I just saw your comment on my blog today, been a bit on the busy side. :D

  13. This sounds very similar to my favorite drink, Horchatta. Got to give it a try! :)

  14. You have a really lovely blog! I am following you for more great ideas and would like to invite you to follow me too if you have the time :) ..

  15. I haven't had like this looks delicious

  16. Thank you for sharing your recipes with me at Cast Party Wednesday. I hope you will come back tomorrow and share more of your recipes.
    I hope to see you there!