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Korean Sweet Rice Drink (sikhye)

Sweet Rice Drink is one of the most common and popular traditional holiday drinks in Korea. There are not many ingredients in it; however, it takes long time to make. That is why it is a special drink for holidays


Posted By: S. Park
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Prep Time: 2 hours | Cook Time: 3 hours | Ready In: 2 Days
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US Metric

•2 Cups Coarse Malted Barley Powder
•10 Cups Water
•¾ Cup Short Grain Rice (2 Cups Cooked Rice)
•¾ Cup White Sugar

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Cooking Process:

Soak 2 cups of malted barley powder in 6 cups of cold water for an hour.

After an hour, the barley powder will be softer. Rub and squeeze the powder in water for several minutes to make the water a milky color. Strain the barley water mixture. Set aside the water.

Add 4 cups of water to the leftover barley powder.

Rub and squeeze it again for several minutes.

Strain the milky water, and combine it with the first straining.

Leave the barley water sit for 6 hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator. The powder will sink to the bottom and clear water will be on top.

You need about 2 cups of cooked rice, so an hour before you remove the barley mixture from the refrigerator, cook about ¾ cup of short grain rice. Make the rice a little on the dry side for this recipe; so, use a slightly smaller amount of water when cooking the rice.

If you made more than two cups of rice, remove the extra. Then pour the clear water from the barley mixture into your rice cooker. Be careful not to let any of the powder come out. Fill your rice cooker almost to the top with the water. Set your rice cooker to the “keep warm” function for about 3 hours.

Pour any leftover barley water into a separate container and save it for later.

After pouring off the clear water, you will have leftover powder from the bottom. Throw it away or place it in your composter.

About 3 hours later, the rice will start to float, when about 20 pieces of rice float, it is done. Depending on your rice cooker’s temperature, it may be shorter or longer than 3 hours.

Remove about 1 cup of rice from the barley water.  Save that rice in a container with a little bit of cold water in your refrigerator. That rice will be used for decorating the drink later.

Pour the barley water and rice from the rice cooker into a large pot, along with the leftover barley water you saved before. Cook it on medium-high.

Once it starts to boil, add ¾ cup of sugar. You may want to add a little more than that. Occasionally remove the foam from the surface of the drink. This helps to improve the flavor.

Once it starts to boil again, cook for 15 more minutes on medium-high, and then turn off the heat.

Cool the drink before serving. When you serve the drink, pour some of it into a bowl or cup; then add some of the rice you saved in the refrigerator. The rice will float on top of the drink.

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