Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Making of Rice Wine

Making dish with Glutinous Rice wine … try this and you will never regret!

Lot of friends asking~ is Glutinous Rice Wine same as the normal rice wine. For me, I think there’s bit different in such a point of view on ways and methods of transforming, but always fermented and rice-based.

Since questions asked, I was actually thinking to make my own Home Made Glutinous Rice Wine. I called up my mom and some friends to ask them about the process and things to ready. Then I found out … the whole process taking a few weeks to just get a little Rice Wine to be done.

Finally, I shed off my thoughts to make my own Wine at home, and also started to search online to look for more information… here are some photos and information I found.
Kadazan Method and China Method

I’m a Malaysian from the Borneo Island - Land Below the Wind, Sabah. So I believe my mom’s methods of making wine are the mixture of the two Traditions ~ China method and KadazanDusun Method.

Here they are Steps to make the Glutinous Rice Wine:

* Step1:
Ingredients: 1.5 kg long grain
Sticky rice
In a big container soak the rice in water for at least 12 hours or over night, making sure you cover all of the rice.

* Step2: Steam
Sticky rice for 20 minutes or until just cookedRinse and wash the rice thoroughly then place evenly into steamer. Using chop sticks stab with holes for more even steaming.

* Step3: Allow the cooked sticky rice to cool down
Rinse and wash thoroughly under cold running water, make sure to separate all the individual grains. Drain.

* Step4: Ingredients: 1 pkt dried yeast (2 heaped Chinese soup spoons)
Add and mix yeast and sticky rice into ceramic vessel - save a little for step 5

* Step5: Pat down the sticky rice and level
In the middle make a small hole and sprinkle the rest of the yeast inside and around

*Step6: Place lid and store in dry warm place, undisturbed for the next 36 hours
If need wrap up in thick towels, sheets or blankets

* Step7: Wine is ready when vessel is tilted and rice separates from the sides
If you can not see the "freshly fermented wine" in the hole then replace lid and kept fermenting

Here you are, naturally sweet fermented home made Glutinous Rice Wine!!!

These are what my mom told me when she wanted to make the Wine at home:-
Many taboos have to be observed during the making of rice wine. Thus one is not allowed to swear or fight during the cooking process, or to talk bad and loudly. Other taboos are connected to practical hygiene, such as the rule that one cannot touch lemons or any other sour thing during the preparations. This could turn the wine sour. Hygiene is paramount, and in olden days often the whole family was banned from the house when mother prepared rice wine.

Often a piece of charcoal, or a small knife called is placed on top of the jar with the fermenting rice, to prevent bad spirits from entering the recipient and spoil the wine – lihing, being an entirely natural wine, will turn into vinegar when left exposed to air.
*I still remember… I was really young and still studying. Mom making her rice wine and during her first checking time, I was standing beside her and saw her taking out a small knife which placed on top of the container. Then the next thing she asked me to do is “Keep My Mouth Shut”.

The three main ingredients that contribute to the unique characters of various wines are the grains, the water, and the liquor starter. Other ingredients that alter the color or taste of the final product may also be added.

Glutinous Rice Wine well knows as Sticky rice wine, traditionally, can be eaten as a dessert, with sweet sticky rice balls as a snack, drunk with a meal, but mainly the Chinese consider it as a "health food/drink".

Then from the research, I am so surprised that the local people of Sabah produced their own Rice Wine and done with beautiful packaging design for sale too.

Well known and labeled as Lihing Rice Wine.


I Cook4Fun said...

BigFish, thanks for stopping by at my blog. I tried making rice wine once and it turn out pretty well but with one disaster. I open the bottle and there were so much gas inside the the cap just pop open and the wine flew all over the place from the floor to the ceiling. A huge clean up after that :(

alexander said...

thanks for the recipe.
I never knew that...

Alex's World! -

Hazza said...

I use normal rice wine in cooking all the time but never tried the glutinous version before. However, it seems to so time consuming to make, much easier to buy for about ukp7 a bottle... for wage comparison, McDonalds staff earn around ukp5 per hour, so it's not that expensive here. But I admire your intention and patience in trying to make it yourself.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Thanks for your lesson in making glutinous rice wine. Interesting! But me too lazy to attempt it....hahaha... :P

Mansi Desai said...

HI, my first time here, and glad to met you:) I've never known about rice wine! my hubby would be thrilled to read this:) thanks for sharing!

AIM said...

Thanks for visiting my blog too ..
and ... thanks for the recipe.

Your Blog is COOL +++++

beachlover said... also know how to make rice wine!!'boh tak ting'!!.Did you use this rice wine to cook or drink straight??.

Lewis said...

Wow - making my own hooch at home :) That is a pretty cool technique that you show there.

I love food blogs from other countries because you would use ingredients that I may never have heard of (durian's being one). I look forward to learning more about your culture!

And thanks for stopping by!


Red Icculus said...

I love saki, but it would be so much more economical to make it at home. Thanks for the great guide and pictoral.

I do lots of similar food and gardening experiments at

tigerfish said...

Such a tedious process. Thanks for sharing the info.

bigfish_chin said...

hi i cook4fun,
This is the deffect and the wine cannot keep long. According to my mom, some times how hand does matter, cos some hands are suitable for making wine, but hand doesn't.
But it will b OK if u finish it in short period.

Hi Alex,
U r always welcome. So any guts to make your own rice wine... haha :)

Hi Hazza,
Trust me, U won't regret! Smell and Taste are Ummmphhh! U r right, time consuming, but ppl here are so into it. I thought i wanna make it too, but seems a bit hard to me here :)

Hi Little Corner of mine,
I can understand the "laziness"...but it is so interesting isn't it? :) Wait till i hv the guts... i will sure let you all know!

Hi Mansi desai,
Thanks for dropping at my blog here. Hope u enjoy with my future postings. I went to yours too, love your Dinning Hall a lot!

Hi aim,
Thanks for your support!

Hi beachlover,
I know how to make but not yet try by my own hand yet. hehe... lucky to my Mom and some friends they are making it.

Hi lewis,
Thanks for being here! Let share something different and we can always exchange recipes. Lov your blog too!

Hi red icculus,
Thanks for stopping by here!
Yes, is great if we can make our own wine, we using a lot when ladies having their confinement after delivered baby here.

Hi tigerfish,
Isn't it cool? :) ... looking forward to post more posting and ingredients here.
Thanks for being so supporting :)

Red Icculus said...

You say "dried yeast" but does the type matter? I have access to the wine brew store, but they don't have any yeasts specifically for rice wine.

Xiaolu said...

Hi BigFish, my mother is one of the Chinese believers in the health benefits of mi-jou (as she calls it), so I decided to try making it for her. I am now waiting for it to ferment, but I think I may have cooked the rice for too long. Do you know if overcooking ruins the whole process? Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Hi there, ive just followed your recipe. Its day three, and I can't wait to open it!!!! I'll let you know

Anonymous said...

It looks good, theres a little bit of liquid that I can see in the hole in the middle, its smells fantastic. I reckon I'l leave it for a few more days, because its still fermenting. Is there any medicinal herbs or anything that I can steep in the wine when i bottle it?

Anonymous said...

making it now . Hope it will turn out fine and can share with everyone . One thing , how long do i need to leave it alone before i start tasting it