Soak the sweet rice or glutinous rice in 5 cups of cold water for at least 10 hours.
Drain and rinse the soaked rice to remove the extra starch. Fill the steamer with cold water. Line the steamed plate with parchment paper or grease-free cheesecloth if you are using a double layered, Asian style steamer. Place rinsed sweet rice on the parchment paper and spread out evenly. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down to medium heat with gentle boiling. Steam for 12 minutes.
Remove the steamer from heat. Carefully transfer the steamed rice into the large mixing bowl (the one you are going to use for fermenting). Let the steamed rice cool to room temperature. Approximately 7-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to crush the yeast starter ball into powder.
Add 1 cup of water to the cooled steamed rice and mix until there is no rice clump. Add extra water if needed, 2 tablespoons at a time.
Add yeast starter into ½ cup water and stir to make the suspension. Pour the suspension into the bowl with rice. Stir gently to mix well.
Use a clean utensil or your clean finger to make a hole in the middle. You may also sprinkle an extra dash of the yeast starter powder onto the surface of the rice at this point.
Cover the bowl with lid and let rice ferment at 72-76 °F for 48 hours or longer until the hole is filled with water.
Transfer the fermented rice into refrigerator after the fermentation is finished. It can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or longer.
See blog post for pictures and more details.
Preparation time does not include pre-soaking time and fermentation time.
How to Make Fermented Sweet Rice (Jiuniang, Tapai) https://lightorangebean.com/how-to-make-fermented-sweet-rice-jiuniang-tapai/