Workshop vol1 | Ren MURO, a store specializing in rice malt and amazake [official mail order]

“Amazake and Immunity Boost”
Morning talk show 1st (2020.12.13)

A morning talk show planned by Ren MURO to spread the appeal of amazake to a wider audience. The first was held on Sunday, December 13, 2020.
This time, from the perspective of preventing colds and flu during the cold winter months, the theme was "Amazake and boosting immunity." The lecturers are Mr. Hiroshi Fujii, an amazake researcher who researches amazake around the world, and Ms. Sara Otonaka, a food coordinator.

Thank you for the offer <br>Amazake was provided by "Senjo", which has a storehouse in Ina City, Nagano Prefecture, for this event.

Lecturer introduction

Hiroshi Fujii

Amazake seeker, representative of Hakko Ranch Co., Ltd. With 24 years of amazake brewing history, he drinks about 500 bottles of amazake on the market, reviews them, and disseminates information on He also published a recipe book for fermented red bean paste, “Fermented Red Bean Paste Snacks”, which is made by applying the solid structure of amazake, and is also active as a fermented red bean paste researcher.

Sara Otonaka

Food coordinator, representative of Poka Poka Table Co., Ltd. Working mainly in the media as a food coordinator, stylist and writer. He is also active as the owner of "Binmi Tokyo" in Jingu Gaien.


The talk show began with sweet sake from Senjo and gluten-free banh mi from Banh Mi Tokyo. First of all, I would like to say hello to the two speakers.

Mr. Fujii
As an amazake researcher, I have created a site called “” and posted all kinds of information about amazake throughout Japan, how many types there are, and where to find what amazake.
Originally, I was studying fermented foods at the Tokyo University of Agriculture, but from around 2011, "various kinds of amazake have increased, and while I have been researching brewing at university, various brewers have Let's find out what kind of amazake they make."
Now, it is said that what should I do to raise my immunity so that I do not get sick in the corona misfortune. Fermented foods such as amazake, miso, and soy sauce are being reviewed. I would like to talk about why such fermented foods are good for the body and whether they are effective for the immune system, focusing on amazake.
Mr. Otonaka
I also run a shop called "Bain Mi Tokyo" in Gaienmae, and the banh mi I'm having today is made with 100% gluten-free rice flour.
The reason why I am putting this out this time is because amazake is used for the sandwiched liver pate. Lard and milk fat are usually used in liver pate, but instead of that, we use rice malt amazake and cashew nuts to bring out the natural sweetness. That's why I put out this banh mi as a morning today.

Below, I will introduce the contents of the workshop that Mr. Otonaka and Mr. Fujii conducted.

Since when have you had amazake?

It is well known that amazake was drunk during the Edo period, and the sight of amazake sellers walking the streets of Edo is famous. Amazake has its roots over 1,000 years ago, during the Heian and Nara periods.
At that time, it was made with rice, malted rice, and sake, but around the beginning of the Edo period, it changed to something similar to the amazake of today. I started to prepare what I was preparing with alcohol with water. The reason amazake contains the kanji character for sake is that it was originally sake.

In the past, it was written as "醴酒" and read as "Reishu", and now read as "Amazake". Amazake is said to have its roots in the high-class sake that aristocrats drank in the olden days, and those that were made and offered to the gods of Yaorozu for the year's harvest. .
After that, it changed from a noble drink to a drink for the common people, but it costs less to prepare it with water than with alcohol. If you look at recipe books from the Edo period, you'll find that some are made with sake and some are made with water, and in the end, more and more are made with water. There is a background that the number of people selling amazake has increased while doing so.

Types of amazake

When people hear the word amazake, the image that comes to mind is that it is made from sake lees and was handed out at shrines. However, sake made from sake lees became popular around 1950, and the history of amazake made from sake lees is short.
Amazake is divided into amazake made from rice koji and amazake made from sake lees .

Amazake type

Amazake made with rice koji: rice + koji
Sake lees amazake: Sake lees + sugar

This is easy to understand when you think about how to make sake. Sake is made by breaking down rice starch with koji mold to make a sweet liquid, and yeast enters there and eats the sweet liquid to make alcohol. increase.
Amazake made from rice malt is rice that has been sweetened with malt. Amazake made from sake lees is the sake lees left after the yeast has eaten it. I dissolve it in hot water and add sugar to sweeten it. It's easy to make because you just dissolve sake lees in hot water and add sugar. Therefore, it was often used for distribution at shrines.

Next, I will explain the types of amazake made from rice koji. There are different types depending on whether rice is added to the basic koji or only koji is used. Furthermore, it is divided whether there is much water or less. Amazake made from rice and rice koji is generally sold as amazake. Amazake made only from rice koji is called “Koji only amazake” or “Hayamade amazake”.

Type by amount of water

■ Low water content: How to make
■ Food with a lot of water: thin
(Branch point is 32% carbs)

In terms of whether it contains a lot of water or a little water, what is called katadukuri amazake is the one with less water. Amazake with a lot of water is called thinly made amazake.
A lot of water is a turning point when the amount of carbohydrates is about 32%. Katadukuri amazake is mushy and sweet, so it is basically diluted with water before drinking.

Nutrition and functions of amazake

Not only amazake, but also food, when you eat it, it becomes "nutrition" that becomes energy for the body and the material that builds the body .
Other than that , the texture and smell are also called “preferences” . In addition to that , things that do not provide nutrition but have a positive effect on the body are called "functions."

food elements

■ Nutrition
■ Preference

Nutrition is something that you cannot live without moving your body, and refers to proteins and lipids. Vitamins and other things work to promote nutrition and body building in order to live .
Function is not nutrition, but it works positively for humans. For example, medicine is not nutritious, but it has the function of curing colds and promoting digestion. It may be close to that.

The difference between rice only and amazake is that it contains a process called koji fermentation, so a creature called koji mold eats the starch of the rice and creates a substance. The substance works positively for humans. The vitamin group increases during fermentation and helps the body to produce energy from proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, etc.

Benefits of fermented foods

For example , carbohydrates are divided into sugars and dietary fiber. Carbohydrates can be nutritious when people eat them, and dietary fiber cannot be nutritious with digestive enzymes that humans have. Bacteria in the intestine eat substances that human digestive enzymes cannot break down and produce substances. Substances produced by bacteria stimulate the immune system in the intestine, act to lower blood pressure, and act to promote fat burning.

Nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins are broken down by digestive enzymes and made smaller before being taken in through the intestines. It passes through the blood vessels and enters various cells to nourish them. Fermented foods are foods in which the enzymes of microorganisms perform the work of breaking them apart by human digestive enzymes . Fermented foods are therefore highly nutritious .
Amazake is made by breaking down starch into glucose and protein into amino acids using koji mold. In addition, it is such a food that the vitamin B group left by the koji mold and the functional substances created are increasing.

Immunity-boosting effect of amazake

The human intestinal tract is home to a large number of intestinal immune cells. Therefore, it monitors substances released by intestinal bacteria and substances that enter the body, and is stimulated by the substances that enter, activating the immune system.
Immune cells are working to make antibodies and beat bacteria. Immune cells are also human cells, so if glucose, amino acids, vitamin B group, etc. enter, they will become energy. In other words , by taking amazake, it leads to raising the immunity that humans have .

This is why amazake is said to be effective in boosting the immune system as a countermeasure against colds and other illnesses at this time of year.

Questions and Answers from Students

I know that amazake increases vitamins and amino acids, but I would like to know specifically what kind of amazake is effective.
Vitamins such as folic acid, which works to make blood, are increasing. People who are prone to anemia are said to take amazake.
Also, it does not contain alcohol, so it is good for pregnant women. When you're pregnant, you have to send energy to your baby, so it's important to take something that's easy to digest.
How long does Aspergillus aspergillus remain alive in the body before it is effective?
In fact, the koji mold is dead at the stage of amazake. When making amazake, the temperature is raised from 55°C to 60°C. That is the temperature of pasteurization of milk, there is a sterilization method of 63 ° C for 30 minutes.

Doesn't that destroy vitamins and amino acids? It is often said, but water-soluble vitamins do not break down so quickly. Amino acids are made into amino acids when proteins are broken down, so amino acids are not broken down. Even if vegetables are cooked with heat, about 80% of the nutrients remain.
When koji mold enters the body, it is dead, but when it enters the human body, it becomes nutrients for humans and food for intestinal bacteria. That's why it's going to be food in the intestines, so it's necessary to take it positively.
Does the effect change depending on the type of koji mold?
Depending on the type of lactic acid bacteria, there are things such as suppressing fat absorption, being effective against hay fever, and stimulating the immune system to prevent colds. Aspergillus oryzae also uses different fungi depending on the application. There are many differences, such as the koji that makes miso and the koji that makes soy sauce.

For example, the difference between yellow koji, black koji, and white koji is that when mold produces spores, it gives off color. Differences in koji produce different flavors.
Yellow koji is also used when making miso and soy sauce, and it has a neutral taste.
However, black koji is used when making Okinawan awamori, but the temperature in Okinawa is high, so it easily spoils when making sake. Black koji is a type of koji that produces a lot of citric acid, which is found in lemons. However, if you make shochu with black koji, the koji room will get dirty.
White koji produces a lot of citric acid like black koji, but the spores are not colored. It was developed by Mr. Kawachi, a koji maker in Kagoshima, based on black koji.
There is also red yeast rice, but this is not a member of the Aspergillus oryzae family. Aspergillus oryzae is called something like Aspergillus, but it belongs to the genus Monascus and is used in red tofu in China and tofu in Okinawa.

It was thought that koji should function by producing enzymes, so there has not been much industrial research on the differences in nutrition due to koji. I think this is an area where more research will be done in the future.
Are there things that people don't agree with?
Yes, I have a preference for taste and deliciousness. There are differences in details such as constitution between people. However, some research has shown that the effects of koji mold improve the intestinal environment and improve the condition of the skin.
Therefore, although there are individual differences, the function of koji mold has been proven.
Is it possible to increase the diversity of intestinal bacteria by taking various types of amazake, which will increase the effect?
There is. Food for bacteria comes from human food, so for example, people who eat only meat, people who eat only vegetables, people who eat only carbohydrates, etc. will have a different balance of intestinal bacteria. By taking various bacteria, the balance of bacteria will change.
However, since it is a fermented food, it is different from medicine.
When is the best time to take amazake?
Drinking amazake raises blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar rises, it sends a signal to your internal clock that it's morning. For example, there are some people who say that they don't feel well if they don't eat breakfast. So, by taking amazake, you can get energy, and at the same time, it also works to let your body clock know that morning has come.
So it's nice to have a drink to wake you up. You can drink it however you like, and if it's cold, you can warm it up or drink it cold. The most important thing is to keep drinking deliciously.

at the end

This time, we asked Mr. Fujii to explain the general knowledge of amazake.
The participants actively asked questions, and it was felt that everyone's interest in amazake was high, such as past the scheduled time. Ren MURO will continue to hold such workshops on a regular basis.