November 20, 2020

Chinese Fermented Rice Poached Egg Soup 酒釀蛋

Chinese, recipe, Fermented Rice, Poached Egg, Soup, 酒釀蛋, Jiu Niang
We made a big jar of Chinese Fermented Rice 甜酒釀 recently cuz my little girl loves the stuff and she's been bugging me to make some for her.  And it's the perfect thing to help boost our immunity for the oncoming winter weather.  

This wonderfully fresh, sweet and slighty winey fermented food is packed full of all kinds of probiotics, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that your body needs to thrive.  The probiotics in particular help to balance the bacteria in your gut which is a key player in helping to boost immunity.  

Now that we have a big ol' jar of this stuff, I've started making this homey but wonderfully satisfying breakfast treat, Chinese Fermented Rice Poached Egg Soup 酒釀蛋, a simple soup of sweet fermented rice mixed with hot water and topped with a poached egg.  Each spoonful carries the winey sweet taste of fermented rice and a swirl of bright creamy egg yolk.   This soup makes you feel warm and fuzzy and totally ready to take on a new day!

Chinese, recipe, Fermented Rice, Poached Egg, Soup, 酒釀蛋, Jiu Niang

The Chinese Fermented Rice 甜酒釀 is actually pretty easy to make at home.  Check out our recipe by here.  If you don't want to make it you can get it here.  But it tastes way better fresh.

Once you've prepared the rice you let it ferment for a couple of days and it's done.  I love fermented rice.  I even use it as a face mask for my skin.  And it's supposed to be good for hair too.  I'm going to experiment with that this time.  Surprising my little girl loves it almost more than I do.  

There's something about the taste, ricey, winey, sweet, a hint of sour.  A bit like the taste of sake.  And the texture, soft and luscious with the fermented rice water soaked fully into every spongy corner of the porridge like rice.

Chinese, recipe, Fermented Rice, Poached Egg, Soup, 酒釀蛋, Jiu Niang

To prepare this soup you will need to poach an egg.  Some folks just break an egg into a pot where water and fermented rice have been heated up together and let the egg poach right there.  However I think that the fermented rice keeps its goodness and taste better if not heated so thoroughly.  

Therefore I like to make the poached egg on its own and then use the egg white flavored poaching water to add to the fermented rice, allowing for a gentle heating. And, besides of which, poaching a single egg is fun.  It's a food adventure! You have to 'capture' the egg inside a whirlpool of hot water so that the vortex keeps the egg white close and cozy to the golden yolk as it firms up. A neat trick but takes a bit of practice.  

Know that some of the egg white is bound to be lost to the water, settling into delicate white flakes.  But that's okay because we're going to use the poaching liquid too!

Chinese, recipe, Fermented Rice, Poached Egg, Soup, 酒釀蛋, Jiu Niang

Here's my egg, neatly poached, and the room temperature fermented rice waiting for the final topping off of hot poaching water and a wee bit of sugar.  A gentle stir to mix and your energizing and delicious breakfast soup is ready to serve!  Hope you all like this Chinese breakfast treat as much as we do!

Chinese, recipe, Fermented Rice, Poached Egg, Soup, 酒釀蛋, Jiu Niang
Chinese Fermented Rice Poached Egg Soup
Prep time:  2 mins  Cook Time: 3 mins



Add fermented rice into the serving bowl.

Crack egg into a small bowl.  Add 3 inches of water to small pot.  Heat over medium heat until just simmering, lower heat and use a spoon to stir water in one direction until a whirlpool forms.  

Lower the egg in a bowl as close to the water as possible, then quickly in one move pour the egg into the whirlpool center.  Use the spoon to keep stirring along the sides of the pot to help keep the whirlpool going.  Cook for 3 mins for runny yolk and firm whites. 

Spoon out and place on top of fermented rice.  Add sugar and 1 1/4 cup hot poaching liquid.  Mix gently.  Taste and adjust sugar as needed. Sprinkle osmanthus flower over if using.   Enjoy!



  1. I have food memories of eating a very similar dish as a child, that my grandma would make. “Wine rice” as she called it was a special treat. I would have sworn that when she made it the soup was milk-based, though the last time I asked her about it she insisted it was not and that the rice would curdle the milk. I could be conflating it with a more common breakfast soup we ate, which was just eggs poached in sweet milk, but I need to make some fermented rice and test out my memory. It’s been decades since I’ve eaten fermented rice, but it’s one of my favourite flavour memorization from when I was a kid, and it makes me happy to see this recipe.

    1. Was is a Chinese dish? If so, it's probably fermented rice wine. It's really delicious and I also loved it as a child. I hope that you can try this and rediscover your grandma's dish! ~ellen 😉