Since I gave birth to my daughter, I've experienced lingering fatigue and low energy. This recipe was given to me by my friend Mai's mom. She said red rice has been described for centuries as a medicinal agent. She insisted it would lower my blood glucose, which could be why I'm not feeling so well. You may already know this by now: I'm a sucker for old wives' tales, and when anyone who tells me a certain food enhances your health I rush into the kitchen and make it. I don't know if I should be admitting that so close to April Fool's Day, because I fear that I'll be getting strange suggestions from readers over the next couple of days!
I've been drinking this ground red rice (bột gạo lức in Vietnamese) drink for a week now. The results aren't bad, though it's quite possible that I'm susceptible to the placebo effect. Regardless, the preparation isn't very complicated and it tastes good!
Servings: 4 servings
2 cups red rice
4 cups sweetened soy milk (or any liquid such as water or even broth would work)
2 teaspoons whey protein powder (optional)
½ cinnamon stick (optional), freshly ground
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
The day before...
Crush about 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon.
Soaking the rice: Wash the rice thoroughly; discard any dirt. Place in a bowl, cover with water. Add the crushed cinnamon (if used). Soak overnight. Drain as much water as possible.
The next day...
For the dry roasted rice powder: Dry roast the red rice in a wok over the stove. Stir the rice using chopsticks until the grains turn a rich brown color (for about 5-7 minutes over high heat). Allow to cool completely. Grind the grains into a fine powder using a food processor or spice grinder. I use the VitaMix Dry Blade Container. The result should be a fine mill.
Combine 1/3 cup of the ground rice with 2 cups soy milk in a small saucepan. Stir well. Heat the liquid until warm and there's foam on the surface. Stir in whey protein and vanilla extract (if used). You could add more milk for the desired thickness.
Repeat the same procedure for the next servings, reserving the leftover ground rice in a vacuum-sealed container.
Pour into cups.
Red rice is unpolished rice. It is short-grained, non-glutinous and has a maroon-red color.
Dry roasted rice powder is called thinh in Vietnamese. For a finer mill for when grinding rice powder, I use the VitaMix Dry Blade Container. It blends everything almost instantly. You might want to grind the rice in several batches for better results and so the motor doesn't burn. You could use the ground rice that's left for making bì (Vietnamese shredded meat with thinh) or Indian tomato chutney.
I enhanced the drink with cinnamon and vanilla but I didn't add more sugar as there is already some in the soy milk. You could add honey or any sweetener to your taste. It tastes similar to a malt drink.
You can find whey protein powder in health food stores like GNC, or many supermarkets like Whole Foods. I like using protein powder as a supplement for my husband, who's a vegetarian. Just make sure the protein source is clearly labeled. You should get either whey or soy protein. If the source is unclear, it's possible that the protein is derived from remnant animal parts.
I used Bourbon Barrel brand vanilla extract.
For a different vegan version, you can also use almond or rice milk.
Check out other drink recipes by clicking on the link.