Originally posted September 20, 2015

Tapai (Sweet Fermented Black Rice)

Tapai (Sweet Fermented Black Rice) by Sarah Xiong


  • 1.5 lb black glutinous rice
  • 2 yeast balls, crushed fine
  • 1 liter filtered water
  • 15 oz palm sugar


Rinse black rice in cold water several times. Soak overnight.

Steam black rice in bamboo basket for 20 minutes. Boil a pot of water. Pour black rice into bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 20 minutes.

Once rice has doubled, drain then set in the steamer. After 20 minutes, flip the rice. Cover. Steam for 10 minutes. Uncover. Flip. Steam for 5 minutes.

Put whole bamboo basket with rice in it over the sink. Fan and stir a bit. Pour liter of filtered water over the hot rice. Rice should be warm, but cool enough to touch. Sprinkle yeast and sugar on bottom of large, wide bowl. Layer black rice, sugar and yeast, alternating between layers. Mix with clean hands til yeast has disappeared. Spoon into extremely clean jars or a plastic container. Cover and set in a warm, dark place for 2-3 days.

After a few days there might be a white layer on top. With a clean spoon, scrape it off and toss it. Refrigerate to slow the ferment. Otherwise in a few days you will have black rice wine.

3 days


  • commented almost 6 years ago

    Hi, where do you get the "yeast balls"? Im from Australia. Thanks

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