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Friday, June 15, 2012

Home-Made Chinese Red Yeast Rice Wine and Vinesse (Foo Chow Ang Jiu & Ang Chow)

Grandma used to make this homemade rice wine for anyone who is due for baby in the family, it is an essential for the lady's confinement we used it in every dish we cooked for the mother within 30 days after the baby is born, this period is called confinement period.

Grandma also made sure to make a few more bottles of this wine for my house, my brothers and I are big fan of Rice wine chicken.

My aunt was teasing me the other day that she remembers me asking for mum's confinement foods when mom gave birth to my youngest brother....

Now that grandma is no more. I just feel that this increasingly disappearing tradition should be remembered and recorded.

1200 gm glutinous rice (the round shape one works better)
150 gm red yeast rice (Ang kak/红麯米)
1/2 ball or 1 tsp of Rice Starter (Jiu Piah/酒曲/酒饼)
2500 gm of boiled water cooled down to room temperature or distilled water

1.Wash and soak glutinous rice overnight to make sure it is fully soaked.

Note: to see if it is ready, break one grain with your finger the next day, if it is easily broken into half, the rice is ready.

2. At the same time, in a clean glass or clay container, mix together red yeast rice and 2500 gm of cold boiled /distilled water.

Note: it is very important to use clean container without oil or any possible residue that could cause contamination to the wine, a drop of oil is enough to spoil the soup... opppss the wine, I mean.

3. The next day, drain the water out from glutinous rice, bring half pot of water to boil and steam the glutinous rice for an hour. I used muslin cloth with bamboo steamer to steam the rice, it let the steam penetrate through the rice and cooks the rice better without over cooking it.

4. As my bamboo steamer has double layer, I swapped the upper layer with the lower in between for even steaming. You could also sprinkle some water on the surface while swapping as it normally dries up a little during the cooking process.

Note:it is better not to cook the glutinous rice using rice cooker as the cooker normally over cooked the rice and make it mushy, mushy rice made sourish wine, which we should try to avoid at any cost.

5. When the rice is cooked, loosen and spread to let it cool down completely.

6. In a mortar and pastel, pound the wine starter into powder.

7. Add the cooled rice into the pre-soaked red yeast rice and water, sprinkle wine starter and stir it well.

8. Place the container cap, but do not tightened it, the brewing process produce quite a bit of gas and this will let the gas release naturally. Leave the container at a well ventilated place at room temperature.

9. Stir it every 3-4 days with a very clean spatula. It was already smells like wine after 4 days and tasting real sweet.

Note:Do not leave the container at warm and humid place as it could attract bacterias or over ferment the rice turning the wine into vinegar!

10. Harvest the wine and rice residue/lees/vinesse after 20-30 days, whenever the wine is ready. The rice should look a little porridge like in texture and has slight alcohol smell, when the rice precipitate naturally at the bottom, the rice is ready. Harvest time depending on weather and temperature. It normally takes longer in winter and shorter time in summer.

11. Filter and bottled the wine, keep the rice residue/lees/vinesse (Ang Chow/红糟)too, it is a great cooking ingredients.

12. This recipe made 3 and 1/2 bottles of wine and 2 boxes of Ang chow. Both could be stored at dry cold place for more than a year or as long as it last!

Note:I grind my Ang Chow (Red yeast rice wine lees) into a smooth paste and keep in tight container and refrigerate. It is the best food coloring and great for marinates.

This is how the wine looks after 3 years, clear and golden in color, smells great and good for cooking!


  1. Thank you for your generosity of sharing the recipes with us. I admire you! After reading the recipe for making red rice wine, I have a question for you: Where did you buy your 红麯米? Last time you suggested to someone that to buy it from the Chinese supermarket. However, I couldn't find it from the Chinese supermarket in the Bay area. Please advise. Your recipes are my favorites!!

  2. Hi.. sorry for this late reply, you may be able to find it in the chines medicine shop.. or worse.. online... Do let me know if you need help on finding it...

  3. Great to find the recipe on making this red rice wine. I love to eat the Foochow Red Rice Wine Mee Suah. But don't know anyone who supply this red wine. Now I can make my own wine.

    However, just like anonymous above, where can I find the red rice? I am a Malaysian staying in Klang Valley. Can I find it in Chinese medicine shop too? I have never seen this red rice being sold in grocery shop.

    1. I found it in Ipoh, Menglembu. The shop that sell many types of rice. I'm sure u can find it in Klang Valley.

  4. Hi JC, good to see you here!!

    You can check this out at the chinese medicine shop of course, otherwise, some of the grocery stores in Fuchow's villages carries it, I think.

    Do let me know when you find it, or in case you couldn't find it, I will check out more...

    welcome to my blog!

  5. Thanks! I will try to ask around when I go to the wet market tomorrow. :o)

  6. Hi,

    I finally got the red yeast rice. It's called 'Hong Kok' in Cantonese. Asked an aunt at the wet market and she asked me to go to Chinese medicine hall to get them. I got 3 packets, each is about 10gm or less and costs only RM0.40 (about USD0.10). I just came back and checked on your recipe. So now I have to get my glutinuous rice.

    I am excited that finally I will be able to make this wine this weekend. And I am equally excited over the many recipes that I will be cooking with this recipe. Hopefully I could offer some of this wine to my baby sister who is about to deliver her first-born in August.

    Thank you very much. Will keep you posted on how the wine will turn out. Let's start the count down. :)

  7. oh woww.... that is really reasonable...the price... but you bought only 3 packets... which makes it only 30 gms.. will it be enough?

    I am really looking forward to your success!

  8. Dear Echo,

    Thank you so much for this great recipe :)
    I have tried to make the wine and I encountered something which I am not sure what to do..
    I found some white coating on top of the red yeast rice on day 3 and without thinking, I just stir it!(After that I was like OMG).
    I am not sure what is that and wondering if you have the same situation while making the wine.
    Can you please tell me if it is a normal process to find some white coating on top?
    Thank you :)
    Have a great day!


  9. Beatrice...if it is only white colour coating and smell like wine.. it is ok... just wine yeast working too hard... stirring with clean sanitized spatula will do...

    make sure you use sanitized and completely oiless spatula or stick to stir the wine...

    if the wine start smelling bad and showing black colour or sticky coating.. then it is high change that it has turn bad... probably the container or tools you use are not clean enough...

    do let me know the progress and we could share more...

    1. Hi Echo,
      Thank you for the reply~I stirred it and I think it has gone well...fingers crossed for the next two weeks...will keep you posted~

    2. I once came across this subject of black and white moss in our fermenting food in TV program. White moss is good one but the black one is poisonous moss !! So when you see your fermenting food has black moss, throw them away !!
      By the way, I'm so glad that 盈盈 knows so much and she is such a young lady. Thank you for sharing this recipe as I have the red yeast rice (Ang kak/红麯米) but don't when to add in as my mom never make that but only the white wine as we are Hakka !!
      If anyone wants to make white pulut wine, follow her recipe but don't add in the red yeast rice (Ang kak/红麯米). Cover your bottle with a piece of cloth for 3-4 days. You will get very, very sweet pulut rice wine. Can add that for any dessert or cook chicken wine soup !! Take with the pulut rice and wine to cook with egg and it is good for young girls as it will stimulate their breasts and she may have a bigger breast told by an Taiwan actress who is the only one with big breasts and she took this dessert every night from young !!

  10. Hi!
    How long can you keep the residue if in fridge.

    1. Hi Phing,theoretically, it's like forever... well mine lasted for a year

  11. Hi, I have started making this red yeast wine on 20 July 2013. This is my first attempt, what happen was on the 21 July, a layer of water was formed at the bottom, but the rice seem to float up, then without thinking I opened the cover and used a clean utensil to stir and press the rice down. Today (23 July) I saw a layer of foam appear between the rice and the water formed at the bottom. My question is whether this batch of red yeast wine is getting bad or this phenomenal is normal? I have made white rice wine before but it did not appear to be like this.


    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for visiting my blog! It sounds like normal to me, as long as it doesnt change to black color or form molds, it should be OK! This type of rice wine is not sweet, it is more for health benefits than its taste. So that you know... do write again if you need any other information.

    2. Hi! Echo, I glad to share with you that I have harvested this batch of red yeast wine this morning. It turn out great. Thank you very much and appreciated for sharing your grandma's recipe.

  12. Hi Echo, i need some info abt what will happen if i were to harvest the wine later than 30 days? Just saw yr blog n saw vinegar. now a bit worried whether its vinegar or wine. Thks

    1. Hi, I need to know the temperature of the place you keep the wine, if it is not too warm, and well below 20 Celcius, you should be good.

  13. Hi, I have just harvested mine after 31 days and temperature is about 25 - 27 deg C. It turn out great, no sourish taste.

    1. That is great!! It is good temperature to make this wine!!

  14. Rice wine
    Have you ever tried strawberry rice wine? If not, please try asap. Who doesn’t need beverage? And strawberry rice wine is a beverage which is more likely never to forget once experienced. You can enjoy it anytime when you want.

  15. Red wine residue - Can you provide some info on where to get red wine residue in Klang Valley area

    1. Hi, I am so sorry as I am not currently residing in Klang Valley, thus I am not too sure where to get that around there. I am sorry that I can't seem to help.


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