Sweet malt beverage- Shikhye

I feel that my body is too“hot" and might be coming down with a fever. To “cool” it down, I made sikhye. Sikhye is one of those drinks that I can drink the whole day and not feel sweet-sick or guilty because of drinking “empty calories”.

Jung taught me how to make it last year and I fell in love with it. It’s like a barley drink with a different twist to what I’ve been used too.

Sikhye is a traditional sweet Korean rice beverage, made with barley malt and rice. It was originally made from the rice that stuck to the sides of the cooker after the rest had been scooped out. Sikhye is made by pouring malt water onto cooked rice. The combination is then fermented for at least a day, and then boiled with ginger and jujube. It is served chilled. Shikhye is known to help the digestion of food and blood circulation. It is best after a meal of meat or something particularly greasy as a refreshing dessert. It is also great for people on a diet. This slightly fermented rice nectar should be drunk during the winter. But nowadays it can be found all the year round.
**The key to its flavor is a good quality barley malt which gives it much sweetness. **
Time consuming, yes, but once you become familiar with the recipe, you can make this wonderful drink at your own convenience. Just plan ahead and do it the night before.
Barley malt, dried and pounded barley germ (yotkirum) : (450 g, available in Koreanstores)
Rice : 4 cups, cooked
Sugar to taste
ginger to taste
Pine nuts, for decoration, sprinkle
barley malt
1.Cook rice
2. Add 4 liters of water to the malt and scrub with hands to make powder. Let it sit for several minutes before removing the barley.
Note: Do not stir, remove the top barley carefully.
3. Sieve and discard the remnant and keep still the water for about 30 minutes until clean water is produced.
4. Pour the barley water to rice and leave it in the rice cooker overnight. (This is to allow fermentation to take place)
5. Several grains of rice will float to the top of the water in the electric rice cooker (of warm button)
6. Transfer it to a pot and bring it to a boil for 15 minutes. Add ginger and sugar to taste.
7. Cool, refrigerate and before serving, top with pine nuts.

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