Question re. Korean "fermented rice wine."
Can I just use sake or is this a different product all together?
There is Korean sake, and there are various Korean rice wines that are different than sake or Shaoshing... but the introduction description of 'thick' implies that they are talking about mak jiu (sp?), which I think is usually homemade. It is a sort of an alcoholic porridge. I bought the 'enzyme' (that's the only English on the package, and I don't know any Korean) at the local Korean grocery. The fermentation takes only a few days. The stuff is not to my taste, unlike other storebought Korean rice wines I've had.
Mak jiu is a live product, and it sounds like that's the important part. I'm sure the taste would be different, but a splash of sake for flavor and some yeast or sourdough for rising might be a reasonable substitute.
I'm sorry,'not to my taste' actually referred to the texture, not the taste. I made it myself frrom book instructions, so I can't say what the authentic product is like. I found the combination of alcohol and effervescent congee to be displeasing. So I strained the whole mess and wound up with a gallon of lightly effervescent sake-flavored rice water - which I was entirely happy to drink.
I think it was just different than what I am used to. It also tasted gross to me. How am I to differentiate the two?
ahah, sorry you didn't like it. I do think its great that you made it from scratch. I am lazy and would just rather buy it.
you said that you strained it and was "entirely happy to drink" it, but then you said it was gross. I am confused!
I bet it woudl be good if you cooked it with some korean spicy grilled pork belly or some pork intestines
I found this recipe in my notes.
Makgeolli - Thick Rice Wine
1 pound sticky sweet rice (glutinous)
1 pound white rice
1/2 pound whole wheat
1/2 pound barley
1 package dry active yeast
2 cups water
Earthenware jar with lid
Cover the rice and grains in cold water, place in refrigerator or other cool place and soak overnight (12 hours).
Pour off the soak water and rinse well in cold water.
Place the mixture into a steamer, level it and use a spoon handle or chopsticks to make several holes (this allows the steam to cook the rice more evenly), then steam for about 20 minutes
Remove the steamed mixture from the steamer and let cool, then rinse in cold water, breaking up any clumps that have formed.
Drain the excess water.
Place the mixture into an earthenware jar (at least 1 gallon capacity) and add 2 cups water.
Add 2/3 of the yeast to the mixture and mix well.
Sprinkle the rest of the yeast on top of the mixture.
Cover the jar and store in a dry, warm place for 72 hours.
After 72 hours the liquid in the container should be a milky color (tilt the jar so you can see the liquid).
Strain the wine into a clean bottle or container and refrigerate.
For a stronger alcohol content, let the fermentation go for a couple more days.
If it's the latter and if you want to make what must be a close cousin, the yeast is pretty common in Chinese dry goods sort of places. (Small balls of brittle white material, the texture looks like chalk, 4 or so to a small bag.) I usually see it translated from Chinese as "wine rice", and I'll bet you can find instructions for making it on the web, if you search on that name. A comprehensive Chinese cookbook should have it too. It's simple enough, though it does take a couple of days.
I think that you are looking for is Makkoli (many diffrent ways of spelling), and you can find this in a Korean grocery store. As someone says above it can be thick, but they do make commercial versions of this. Here is some more info.
You can try to substitute unfiltered sake if you can't find makkoli. Good Luck!
Like the post above said, the recipe calls for makkoli. If you can't find it, I wouldn't recommend trying to substitute sake. From a baking perspective, it would like be substituting water for milk.
You would probably be better off using a mild-flavored weissbier, like Blue Moon or Great White. It would change the flavor, but the texture would be pretty close. Good Luck!