Rice Punch Korean Shikae 식혜
This subtly sweet and milky concoction is said to help aid with digestion, alleviate hangovers and quench the thirst on a hot day. The first authentic taste I ever had of it was at an open air market in the middle of Summer in Korea while the family dragged one very hot and tired girl around. After the first few hours, the sight of fresh fish and variety of dried this or that lost its appeal to me as the sun beat down its heavy rays (Summers in Korea can be fierce). As the family continued to march onwards in the never ending labyrinth of meats and produce to sift through, I began to fade and that’s when my uncle came to the rescue with this rice punch. Crouched in the corner of a makeshift stall was a tan and wrinkled lady ladling cool cups of this lifesaving libation and then and there was when I became a life long fan. It’s the original coconut water in my life, if you will. I don’t know if it will cure cancer or make you more beautiful, but it’s certainly a sight to behold on any warm day. It’s light and refreshing with the most interesting texture of rice floating in the midst of it all and it’s completely delicious.
- 2 c malted barley powder
- 12 c lukewarm water
- 2 c cold cooked rice
- 1 c sugar
- Optional: ginger or pinenuts
- Soak the powder in water for 2 hours. Don’t stir.
- Strain and use only the liquid left behind.
- Pour this liquid, sugar, and rice in a big pot on very low and heat for 4-5 hours (until you see grains of rice floating on top).
- Skim off any foam. Cool and refrigerate.
You can find the malted barley powder here.