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Sep 25, 2013 02:41 PM

Makgeolli Anyone?

I'm wondering if anyone knows where I can find Makgeolli, which is sort of a Korean rice wine/beer. It only has about a 1 week shelf life so importing must be a problem, and I don't believe there are any US manufacturers as of yet.


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  1. Lots of the East Bay Restaurants have it
    Dan Sung Sa
    Ob Chicken/Oriental B B Q Chicken Town

    1. I think I've seen it at Koreana Plaza in addition to some restaurants. The makgeolli that's sold here doesn't have that short a shelf life.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Definitely available at Koreana Plaza in Oakland, I've purchased it from there before. I think they have more than one brand and size available most of the time.

        Koreana Plaza also sells the enzyme so you can make your own makgeolli if you want. It's pretty easy, though it takes some practice to get the ratios and fermentation just right.

        In addition to the restaurants listed by chefj and eliu01, Kang Tong Degi in Oakland also serves it.

        1. re: greymalkin

          I bought a $4 bottle at Koreana with millet grain infusion and it has to be one of the worst tasting drinks I've had ever. The bottle had a 1 year shelf life printed on it- commercial product imported from Korea.

          It's also on the menu at Holy Cow Cafe, Oakland.

      2. Been looking for it ever since imbibing it on a business trip to Japan many years ago. It's on To Hyang's menu but I never tried to order it there the few times I've been.

        1. Please realize that it is very easy to get hangovers with this stuff, and the utmost care should be taken to go easy on the amount you drink.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Tripeler

            My cousin was very ill when we had it in Korea, and he's not a lightweight. The whole room was spinning before I finished my first cup with dinner.

            1. re: Windy

              That's surprising, having the whole room spinning after just one cup (by the way, how big was the cup?). The thing about this drink is that there are a whole lot of impurities in the finished fermented product (fusel oils?) that can cause some hangovers like what tequila did in the early 70s.

              1. re: Tripeler

                I don't think that's true for the commercial bottled versions we get here.

          2. Thanks all, the Koreana Market was a new place for me, and it was great, had a lot of things I had been looking for -- Shiso leaf, Perilla seeds, a number of varieties of Makgeolli, and as mentioned the enzyme for making Makgeolli, also known as Nuruk, which I hadn't been able to find.

            They also had whole fresh yellowfin tuna on sale for 1.99/lb, which seems insanely cheap. Also some good prices on other fish as well.