Sikhye, Korean traditional drink
Have you heard that you can make a drink out of rice? Other than Makgulli, Sikhye, sweet rice beverage, is one of rice drinks enjoyed in Korea. Because Sikhye helps to facilitate digestion, Koreans usually have Sikhye during holiday seasons. You need only a few ingredients to make Sikhye, which are barley malt powder, pine nuts, rice, sugar and water. Plus, it's quite easy to make by using a rice cooker.
I believe it would not be difficult to get the ingredients for Sikhye. You need 1 package of barley malt powder(1 pound), 2 cups of rice, 2 cups of sugar, 25 cups of water, and some pine nuts. You can adjust the quantities of the ingredients depending on your taste. For instance, you could add 3 cups of sugar if you'd like sikhye sweeter. But you should not skip barley malt powder even though I called Sikhye a rice drink, because the flavor of barley is the very essence of Sikhye.
Now here is the recipe. The first step to make Sikhye is put 1 package of barley malt powder and 25 cups of water in a basin and mix it. Set it aside for two hours till the dregs are sunk. Next, by using a pot, make some rice and set it aside. When the mixed barley liquid and the water are separated, pour the liquid from the top into the rice cooker. After adding 1 cup of sugar and the cooked rice, stir it and set the rice cooker's function to warm for 4 hours. When the rice is fermented, a few grains will float to the surface. Now put the liquid from the rice cooker to a large pot, add 1 cup of sugar and boil it. Remove the foam floating on the top of the boiling liquid, and put the liquid in glass jars and keep it in the refrigerator. Drop some pine nuts before you serve it.
As stated above, Koreans usually make and have Sikhye during holiday seasons such as Seollal or Chuseok. The reason might be because people tend to overeat on holidays, so eat Sikhye made of barley malt which is famous for helping digestion. Personally I love Sikhye, as I believe that Sikhye helps me with my full stomach and love the subtle flavor. So whenever my mother comes to visit me in Seoul, she makes Sikhye for me.
I introduced how to make Sikhye using a rice cooker. Other than Sujeonggwa, sikhye is one of Korea's own traditional drinks. If you have ever a chance to visit Korea, I recommend you should try it.