Red and White Rice Wine & Lees

Having just assembled the hard to find ingredients, I’m planning on making white rice wine and red yeast rice wine for some Sichuan recipes. While I have Fuchsia Dunlop’s and Kian Lam Kho’s books, has anyone else made these? Any tips appreciated.

Glutinous rice, rice wine yeast balls, and the red yeast rice are in-hand. The red yeast rice was the hardest to source; had to come from China:

I sprayed the outside of the box w/ disinfectant, like I do with all incoming boxes these days.

Awhile back, there was a dish at Peter Chang’s China grill which must have had one of the rice wines and lees. There was a yeasty taste in the sauce which was different, but delicious. These are not the same flavor as using bottled rice wines.

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I made white rice wine once, maybe ten years ago. I no longer have my notes, and I was freestyling because I could find no English-language resources.

So I have no advice to offer, but would love to know which books you are referring to!

Actually, one bit of advice, if you have never brewed or fermented before: sanitation is important. Boil or sanitize all of your utensils, containers, etc. Uninvited microorganisms can make for some nasty smelling and tasting brews.

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Thanks for the warnings. I have fermented many things, plum and apple wines, many beers and ales, kim chee, sauerkraut, yoghurt etc. I’m a biologist by training, so have done sterile, pure cultures.
But, these koji and other cultures are new to me.
The books: Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees, by Kian Lam Kho and Land of Plenty, by Fuchsia Dunlop are classics in Sichuan cuisine, highly recommended! Both are filled with history, wonderful stories, as well as fantastic recipes.

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Thanks for the book references. I’d love to hear how the wine-making goes. I see there are a lot more English-language references these days.

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