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Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch)

5 from 38 votes
Published on 03/20/2024 by Umamiology
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Served on special occasions, Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch) is a popular Korean drink that’s rich with malted barley flavor and moderately sweetened with cane sugar. Once you try it, you’ll never forget the refreshing and earthy taste of this traditional Korean drink!

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If you’ve never heard of Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch), it’s an old fashioned, traditional Korean festival drink made with fermented malted barley flour, accented with ginger and sweetened with pure cane sugar.

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In the past, it was commonly served during Korean festive holidays – like Lunar New Year’s Day or Korean Thanksgiving Day. But now, it’s a drink that’s enjoyed year-round, by anyone that likes that deep and earthly barley taste.

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What Does Sikhye Taste Like?

Sikhye has some unique flavor notes due to the fermented malted barley and ginger. It imparts a slight hoppy taste – kind of like a light IPA (without the alcoholic taste) or a wheat barley brewed tea.

Umamiology-Sikhye-Korean-Rice-Punch-BeautyShot4

Key Elements Of This Recipe

  • Korean Malted Barley Flour : Be sure to get the Korean version – other types of malted barley flour don’t seem to produce the same type of flavor profile.
  • Pure Cane Sugar: For that authentic sikhye taste, try to use real cane sugar

The Ingredients for Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch)

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The Equipment Needed

How To Make Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch)

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Take your malted barley powder and place it into your large mixing bowl.

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Then add in your water and give everything a good stir. Let the mixture sit for about 2 hours.

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After 2 hours, strain the liquid into your rice cooker pot and add in your cooked white rice.

Next, place the rice cooker pot into the rice cooker and set the cooker to the warm setting. Let it sit for about 6 hours to ferment.

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After 6 hours, you should see a handful of white rice kernels floating on top of the mixture. At that point, strain the liquid into a large pot, separating the white rice.

Rinse the white rice under cold water and store in a jar filled with fresh cool water. (Make sure there is enough water in the jar to completely submerge the rice.)

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To the strained liquid in the large pot, add in your white cane sugar and slices of ginger – then place the pot on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring every 2 minutes to fully dissolve the sugar.

Pro Tip: As it boils, you may notice some foam accumulating at the surface – be sure to skim off this foam with a spoon.

After it has boiled for about 10 minutes – remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Then place the finished sikhye in a large pitcher or jug and place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Once it has chilled for 3 hours, you are ready to serve!

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How To Serve Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch)

While sikhye was traditionally served in small wine bowl in Korea, nowadays, it’s common to see this Korean rice punch served in wide-mouthed wine glasses.

Simply pour some of your sikhye into your wine glass, and then add a spoonful of the braised white rice (which we stored in a separate jar previously) and give it a good mix.

Garnish with some sliced jujubes and pine nuts and serve chilled!

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Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch)

5 from 38 votes
Served on special occasions, Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch) is a popular Korean drink that's rich with malted barley flavor and moderately sweetened with cane sugar. Once you try it, you'll never forget the refreshing and earthy taste of this traditional Korean drink!
Author: Umamiology
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 8 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients 

Instructions 

How To Make Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch)

  • Take your malted barley powder and place it into your large mixing bowl.
  • Then add in your water and give everything a good stir. Let the mixture sit for about 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, strain the liquid into your rice cooker pot and add in your cooked white rice.
  • Next, place the rice cooker pot into the rice cooker and set the cooker to the warm setting. Let it sit for about 6 hours to ferment.
  • After 6 hours, you should see a handful of white rice kernels floating on top of the mixture. At that point, strain the liquid into a large pot, separating the white rice.
  • Rinse the white rice under cold water and store in a jar filled with fresh cool water. (Make sure there is enough water in the jar to completely submerge the rice.)
  • To the strained liquid in the large pot, add in your white cane sugar and slices of ginger – then place the pot on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring every 2 minutes to fully dissolve the sugar.
  • Pro Tip: As it boils, you may notice some foam accumulating at the surface – be sure to skim off this foam with a spoon.
  • After it has boiled for about 10 minutes – remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Then place the finished sikhye in a large pitcher or jug and place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  • Once it has chilled for 3 hours, you are ready to serve!

How To Serve Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch)

  • While sikhye was traditionally served in small wine bowl in Korea, nowadays, it's common to see this Korean rice punch served in wide-mouthed wine glasses.
  • Simply pour some of your sikhye into your wine glass, and then add a spoonful of the braised white rice (which we stored in a separate jar previously) and give it a good mix.
  • Garnish with some sliced jujubes and pine nuts and serve chilled!

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 24mgPotassium: 63mgFiber: 2gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

FAQ

What is sikhye in Korean?

Sikhye (Korean Rice Punch) is an old fashioned, traditional Korean festival drink made with fermented malted barley flour, accented with ginger and sweetened with pure cane sugar.

What does sikhye taste like?

Sikhye has some unique flavor notes due to the fermented malted barley and ginger. It imparts a slight hoppy taste – kind of like a light IPA (without the alcoholic taste) or a wheat barley brewed tea.

Does sikhye contain alcohol?

No, sikhye is a non-alcoholic drink.

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