Cơm Rượu (Rice Wine Dessert)
The tricky part about making this desert is figuring out the right ratio of yeast to rice. Too much or too little yeast can result in mold growing on the rice. The bottom line is you’re making wine, thus everything should be clean, dry, and accurately measured.
If Using Hong Kong Yeast:
-1 wine yeast ball (approx. 8g, about the diameter of a US quarter)
-1kg white or brown glutinous rice
If Using Vietnamese Yeast:
-1/2kg white or brown glutinous rice
-2 wine yeast balls (approx 5g, diameter about the size a US dime) or 5 small yeast balls (approx. 7g, diameter about 3/4 of a US dime)
What to Do:
Wash rice a few times; soak for a few hours (the longer you soak, the faster the rice will cook). If using brown glutinous rice than soak and cook as you would normal rice (in a pot with water). If using white glutinous rice, cook the rice by steaming. The rice should be tender and moist. Grind yeast into a powder. Spread cooked rice on a large tray and cool until warm. Sprinkle yeast over rice and mix. Wet hands with saltwater solution and form rice into small balls (this step is optional). Place rice balls in a clean and dry container, cover tightly and place in a warm place for rice to ferment.
How long it takes for the wine to mature depends on the temperature at which it ferments. The process usually takes a few days. After a few days there should be plenty of wine in the container…enough for the rice balls to float in. The longer you ferment the stronger the wine will be. Serve “young wine” as a dessert. “Over-fermented” wine could be used to make Bánh Bò in place of the yeast or, the wine could be filtered, boiled and use as a drinking wine or, to soak spices to make cooking wine.
Saltwater Solution for Shaping Rice Balls:
-1 cup warm water
-1/2 tsp salt
*Dissolve salt in water, the solution should have the saltiness of soup.