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Sikhye (Korean sweet rice drink) is actually the most popular traditional drink in South Korea and is typically served as dessert. Sikhye is a cool, sweet & soft drink that is flavored with jujubes or pine nuts. It is prevalent in Japan, China, and other Asian countries.
Sikhye is also known as dansul or gamju and is a non-alcoholic beverage that demands a few hours of preparation. Yes, it does take a long time! But it’s refreshing and has been given the tag of thirst quencher in the summer season. So, let’s try it out this summer!
How To Make Sikhye (Korean Sweet Rice Drink)?
Sikhye (Korean Sweet Rice Drink) Recipe
- Rice Cooker Or Instant Pot
- Cotton/Linen Pouch/Fine Strainer
- 2 Cups Cooked Rice
- 3 Cups Barley Malt
- 12 Cups Of Warm Water
- 1 – 2 Cups Sugar
- 3 – 4 Slices Ginger Optional
- Pine Nuts or Dried Jujubes For Garnishing
- Start with using a clean linen or cotton pouch to put the malted barley in it and tie it up using a string tightly. Take a bowl and pour enough warm water so that the pouch can be soaked in properly.
- Just manually squeeze or press the pouch a few times in order to take out the malt powder from the barley so that it can get mixed with the warm water.
- It should be done for at least 2 minutes. Now, tightly squeeze out the pouch to allow all the good liquid to come out, and then discard the left barley malt.
- Allow the barley malt water to rest for about 30 minutes and this will result in making the starch sink to the bottom.
- With care and no shaking of the bowl, try to pour the malt water into a different bowl, not allowing the starch to fall into the other bowl. Try to go easy here but with utmost care. Throw away the starch.
- Next, add the cooked rice into the instant pot or rice cooker, whatever you are using, and break up the rice grains a little using a rice spatula or spoon.
- Cover it with a lid and keep your instant pot in a warm setting. Remember that the duration of fermenting can differ from 5 – 8 hours relying on the level of heat of your equipment. But an instant pot can take up to 3 – 5 hours only whereas a rice cooker can take much longer.
- Now, if you are able to see some rice grains floating above, then it means that the rice punch is fermented properly. But if that is not the case, then wait for a few hours more. But never wait for more than 8 hours as the dish will be spoiled
- Add sugar & ginger slices (if preferred) and then bring it to a boil. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes. The saute setting is used here for an instant pot. (If you are using a rice cooker, then transfer the rice punch to a medium-sized pot and let it boil on the stove. Remove any foam or debris from the top if any).
- Allow the sikhye to cool down totally.
- Take out a few spoons of rice from the bottom of the Korean rice drink and soak them in cold water for some time.
- Now, pour the sikhye into a bowl and add a tablespoon of the rice and pine nuts. You can also use dried jujubes here. Serve immediately!
- If you do not have any cotton or linen fabric pouch, then you can directly soak the barley malt in warm water & rub them harshly to extract complete malt from the barley. Now strain it using a fine strainer.
- Also, you can adjust the quantity of rice if you wish to.
- When sugar is added, the cooked rice becomes heavy and they tend to sit at the bottom. Soaking them in cold water will remove the sweetness and make these rice grains float on top of the sikhye when served.
- Sikhye can be well stored in the refrigerator for almost 5 – 6 days. But, don’t forget to boil it once in a while. You can also freeze up the sikhye by putting them in freezer-safe bottles to store for longer days.
- If you do not have much time to follow all the recipe steps, then you can use pre-mix rice punch like “Paldo Rice Punch Can” from Amazon or any other online grocery shopping platform.
Health Benefits Of Sikhiye
Sikhye or Korean sweet rice drink contains enzymes, probiotics and essential nutrients that help in digestion and maintain a healthy stomach.
Rich In Nutrients
Korean sweet rice drink is an amazing source of essential vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals that drives the human body. It gives an energy boost to the body.
Sikhye has a soothing flavor and the it’s aroma helps in promoting relaxation to the mind and body. It helps in reducing stress.
Few ingredients like ginger and malt contain antioxidant properties which helps in fitting oxidative stress and reduces the risk of several other diseases.
Sikhye has a lot of water content, it is a sweet drink with a richness of flavors which helps in providing hydration to the body and reloads electrolytes.
I know it’s a little long process to make sikhye but the result is delicious. You can serve this drink to your friends and family after having a good meal. Similar to Korean barley tea and Korean ginger tea, It’s summer-friendly and keeps you refreshed!
What Does Sikhye Taste Like?
As the name suggests, it’s sweet and the malt gives a unique subtle taste to it. This drink is naturally served as a dessert and is usually enjoyed on traditional days like Seollal or Chuseok.
What All Sikhye Contains?
Sikhye is made out of rice and fermented malt. When rice ferments, the grains become white and spongy. They start releasing starch in the liquid which gives it the color of light amber.
Is It Okay To Drink Korean Sweet Rice Drink Everyday?
Sikhye has a lot of health benefits as it is loaded with antioxidants & fibers and has an amazing taste. It’s totally okay to drink it daily but take care of the sugar.
Is Sikhye Alcoholic?
Sikhye is a traditional Korean sweet drink which is non-alcoholic made with simple ingredients that requires a few hours of early preparation.