Have you ever wondered how sake gets from the rice to the bottles at our Bothell Japanese restaurant? The creation of Japan’s favorite beverage is a long and complex process, which generally involves the following steps:
- First, the rice needs to be milled and cleaned thoroughly to remove any particulate matter that may be attached to the grains.
- The rice then needs to be steamed until it is fully cooked but still somewhat firm, a proper consistency for fermentation.
- Half of the steamed rice is set aside while the other half is placed in a vat and seeded with a mold called koji. This mold converts the starches of the rice into sugar over the course of three to four days.
- The rice that has been seeded with koji is then mixed with the rice that was set aside, and the resulting combination is mixed with water and yeast. This combination is then allowed to ferment over the course of several weeks.
- Once the fermented rice has reached a state of perfection, the resulting mash is pressed to remove the fluid from the solids.