When I was in cooking school in Austin, TX my friend Tom would to bring in homemade millet amasake for us. He would puree it in his Vitamix until it was as creamy as pudding. It was so delicious.
Homemade Millet-Rice Amasake
2 cups sweet brown rice, rinse and soak overnight in 4 cups water
1 cup millet, rinse and drain
2 pinches sea salt
7 Tbsp rice or barley koji
1. Place the rice with soaking water, millet and 2 1/2 cups more water in a non-aluminum pressure cooker. Add the sea salt. Bring to a boil and up to pressure. Reduce heat to as low as you can to maintain pressure. You can use a flame tamer if you have one. Cook for 50 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally or carefully run a little water down the side to help the pressure come down more quickly.
2. Move the millet/rice to a glass bowl and let sit until it’s just hot to touch. The temperature needs to be less than 140ºF, but still hot enough to activate the koji.
3. Stir in the koji. Mix well. Spoon the millet/rice and koji into clean mason jars. This amount will fit nicely into three quart jars, but you can use whatever size you have. Make sure they are very clean. You can heat the jars first, but I haven’t found this to be necessary. Put a lid on top.
5. After the first few hours, open the cooler to check to make sure the temperature is staying warm. Either shake the jars with millet/rice to mix them a little more or open the jars and give them a stir. The millet/rice should be starting to get a little wetter. Tuck the jars back in. Put more hot water in the other two jars if necessary to maintain the temperature. Cover and let sit.
6. After about six hours, open one jar of amasake and taste a little to check for sweetness. If you want it sweeter, let it incubate for longer. Add more hot water to the other jars if necessary to keep the temperature warm. Check every hour until at desired sweetness. Be careful to not let it ferment too far or the flavor will get a little too strong.
7. When your amasake is sweet enough, remove from cooler and pour into a stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes to kill the koji spores. Let cool.
8. You can eat your amasake as is, but I like to puree it in a blender or vitamix. You can add some water to get a thinner consistency if it seems too thick.
I like to use amasake in desserts like amasake pudding and lemon pudding. If you use homemade amasake in the lemon pudding, just make sure you puree it until it’s really smooth.
I frequently add amasake to pancake batter, muffins and other desserts to replace some of the liquid and sweetener. Amasake is also just nice warmed up plain or with a little ginger juice.