Juniang / Tian Jo / Chinese Sweet Fermented Rice Recipe Update

Fermented Rice 1

So, not the first time I am writing about this. BUT, as I have been making it yearly now, have learned some things about making Chinese sweet fermented rice. The old recipe is here in case you want to take a peek at it. Currently, I prefer to use Siam Elephant glutinous rice to make it. I’ve found that it has made the best tasting Chinese fermented rice wine to come out of my kitchen.


Chinese yeast for fermentation, crushed into a powder

Siam Elephant glutinous rice cooked


Now What?

I don’t sweat the measurements too much. Generally, I like to stay around 6 cups of cooked rice to ¼ of a yeast ball, but you don’t have to be super accurate. For my latest batch, for 5 uncooked cups of rice, I used ½ a ball.

After the rice it cooked, pour it out into a big bowl to cool off a little. If the bottom layer of the rice has browned in the rice cooker, leave that out and save it to eat another time. Do not include this in your fermented rice batches.

When the rice has cooled off enough to handle, use your rice paddle and gently break up the cooked rice a bit. Don’t handle the rice too much though, because you don’t want the grains breaking up. Sprinkle the yeast powder over the rice, and mix well. Again, be gentle so the rice doesn’t break down. Spoon the rice into containers and leave a 2 inch gap from the top. For good luck, I sprinkle a tiny, tiny bit of sugar on top of the rice. Don’t ask me why, but I just do and the end result usually tastes better to me, but that may be mental.

I use quart soup containers, cover with saran wrap and then cover with the lid. Mason jars work great for this as well.

Place containers of rice in a warm spot such as in a turned off oven or on top of a refrigerator. Within a few days, you can start to see rice wine forming. You can probably start eating it in a week, but I like to keep it going for a few weeks before I pop it into the fridge, for a stronger and sweeter taste.

Joyce Huang



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