Fermented Rice – Sweet with a touch of Alcohol (Jiu Niang)

Yes, a touch of Alcohol!

Fermented rice is a popular dish in Asia. It contains high concentrations of pro-biotic bacteria. “The enzymes degrade anti-nutritive compounds and thereby make edible, with enhanced flavour and aroma, things that otherwise would be indigestible and/or unpalatable.” (Source).  From a traditional Chinese medicine’s perspective, the fermented rice increases the blood circulation, which is especially beneficial for women.

For me, it is another type of comfort food and makes me a bit nostalgia. Through thousands trials and failures, finally I am able to make this fermented rice exactly the same as I had back home! I can not wait to share with my dear blogger friends this recipe:

what you need:

Sweet rice and Ferment rice starter (or yeast ball, which you can get in Asian supermarket)

An airtight container, such as “lock and lock”. Airtight container is very important: the first half of the fermenting process needs oxygen to generate ‘sweetness’; while the second half, which generates ‘alcohol’ taste, should be absolutely absent of oxygen.  


1. Soak about 2 cup of sweet rice at least 6 hours.

2. Steam the sweet rice for 40 minutes; then, rinse them in the running cold water for 1 minute.

3. in the mean time, grind the yeast ball really well, so that it can be well mixed with the steamed sweet rice.

4. Mix the starter and the sweet rice ; sprinkle the rest of the starters on the top of the steamed rice:

5. Close the lid, put the container in the warm place (about 60 – 70 F will do).

6. Wait, patiently, till you see the ‘rice wine’ comes out of the sweet rice chunk. It may take up to two – three days.  Then , it is time to enjoy!

As I said, it is sweet, a bit creamy, and tinged with a wine aroma.Please please please, don’t have it if you will drive or operate machinery…It DOES make you DRUNK!!!  🙂



Filed under Authentic Asian

12 responses to “Fermented Rice – Sweet with a touch of Alcohol (Jiu Niang)

  1. This is a dish that reminds me of my Grandma. She used the make the best one’s ever! I remember her making it and trying to find a good place to hide it from me because it takes so much waiting time. Haha. Yours looks great Tou Tou. Just the way it’s supposed to be.

  2. I’ve never heard of this but sounds like a great dessert :)!

  3. Yum yum yum! I love your recipe, Tou Tou – thanks for sharing! I must try this now, because I actually have that exact fermentation starter ball that a friend of mine gave me to make fermented rice wine some day. Now, I must make time for it 🙂 This is real comfort food!

    Have a great day, dear Tou Tou!

  4. Oh! I haven’t had this for a long time and had no idea that was made this way…I can almost smell it…we used to use in a sweet soup with the little glutinous rice balls 🙂 Thanks for the recipe and have a great week Tou Tou 🙂

  5. This is one Asian dish that i’ve never heard of!!! Wow, how interesting…it’s like the Asian adult version of rice pudding.

  6. Woooww I am aftually amazed at how you made this! my dad loves this stuf; he’s always buying jars and jars of it! I guess thanks to this recipe we can make our own 😉

  7. I’ve never had fermented rice, but I’ve heard a lot about the health benefits of fermented foods. Interesting! 🙂

  8. crystine

    where is Yuan Zi

  9. I am making this tonight using half white sweet rice and half red sweet rice. I will report back!

  10. I’ve had this fermenting for about 2.5 days. How do I know when it’s ready? Right now it’s a beautiful red-purple (from the red glutinous rice), but it seems like there’s less liquid in mine than yours.

  11. Yes, I love fermented rice. Born in Indonesia we use to eat that made of black rice or tapioca root. The city of Bandung is famous for the fermented tapioca root, called “peujeum”.

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