What Is Koji Culture


Koji – The culture behind Japanese food production

Discover what koji is and how it is utilized in Japanese food manufacturing, as well as the culture that surrounds it.

What is Koji?

Many people are under the impression that koji is a yeast. This is not the case. When cooked rice and/or soya beans are infected with the fermentation culture Aspergillus oryzae, the result is a dish known as Koji. In Japan, where it is known as koji-kin, this naturally occurring culture is extremely common, which helps to explain why so many traditional Japanese cuisines have been produced throughout the years with it as a base. It is utilized in the preparation of popular dishes such as soy sauce, miso, mirin, and sake.

This entails putting the Aspergillus culture to steamed rice or soya beans, or, in the case of shoyu soya sauce, to a mixture of steamed soya beans and toasted, cracked wheat, as is done in the preparation of sushi.

During this period, the Aspergillus feeds on the rice or soya beans, breaking down the carbs and proteins with enzymes that are specific to this type of food.

How it is used?

The koji is frequently added to greater quantities of rice or soy beans, along with a brine solution, after it has been prepared. In the case of mirin, it is combined with glutinous rice and the distilled alcoholic beverage shochu to create a delicious concoction of flavors. To break down complex carbs and proteins into simple sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids, the enzymes present in the koji accomplish the job in each case. If you want to make sake, you start with rice and add koji, which breaks down the carbs into sugars, which is then fermented by yeast to generate alcohol and carbon dioxide.

The benefits of Koji

The amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars produced by the activity of the koji impart flavor and depth to meals, as well as, it has been believed, a variety of health-promoting properties. The fermentation of soya beans with koji to make miso, for example, has been shown to enhance the levels of isoflavones (link to QA on isoflavones), which are substances that have been shown to be useful in the protection of cancer. Glutamate is one of the amino acids generated by the activity of koji, and it is this amino acid that provides the deeply pleasant and delectable savoury flavor known as umami to the dish.

Sake is made from the fluffy white grains of rice koji, which are shown here being utilized to manufacture sake.

Rice clumps are broken apart in order to guarantee that the koji grows in a consistent manner.

koji is used to make miso, which is one of several traditional Japanese dishes that rely on the ingredient. Sake, which is served here in a traditional wooden container called a masu, is another.

Shop Koji cultured products

Skip to the main content Orders over $75 in the United States and Canada qualify for free delivery. How to Make Your Own Koji (Japanese pickled vegetables) Do you want to try growing koji at home? This extensive instruction (which is followed by a recipe for koji rice) will assist you in understanding the fundamentals of developing this wonderful “noble” mold. Koji is a fermented food that is used in the production of miso, soy sauce, amazake, and a variety of other fermented foods. This Japanese ingredient is presently a favorite among chefs, who use it to give a hint of umami and complex flavors to their dishes.

Although koji can be purchased ready to use, it is also possible to cultivate it at oneself.

Are you ready to embark on a fantastic journey into the world of koji?

  • What exactly is koji? What is the best way to utilize koji
  • How to select the most appropriate koji starter
  • The proper rice should be chosen Choosing the most appropriate incubator
  • Recipe for homemade koji
  • Troubleshooting

What Is Koji?

Koji is a type of fermentation that is created from grains or legumes (rice, soybean, etc.) and involves the use of a tiny fungus called Aspergillus oryzae to produce the fermentation. You don’t consume koji in its natural state. As an alternative, it is employed as a primary component in various fermented foods like as shoyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented soybean paste), sake (fermented rice wine), and other delicacies. It is only lately that the culinary world has developed a fondness for koji, which is now used to season meals and to age foods by infusing them with umami.

It has been utilized to unleash the nutritious potential of legumes and grains from the beginning of recorded history.

Making Koji

To manufacture koji, koji starter culture is sown into a food source and allowed to ferment. Rice or barley has traditionally been used as a substrate for the spores to grow on. A koji culture is made up of koji spores, grains, and incubation. If the circumstances are favorable, the spores can grow and colonize the grains, resulting in a thick layer of mycelium covering the grains. It takes only a few hours for the rice to be covered with a white coating that has a flowery and delicious fragrance.

As the mold develops, it will produce a significant number of enzymes that will aid in the digestion of the grains.

They are responsible for transforming a plain soybean paste into delectable miso!

How to Use Koji?

Traditionally, koji has been used to manufacture a wide variety of Asian dishes, but it is now being rediscovered by many chefs as a way to improve the flavor of a wide variety of meals.

Koji is available in a variety of forms, including powder and paste.

Traditional Koji Uses

  • Amazake: a thick drink produced from rice (for more information on amazake, visit ourkoji culture)
  • Sake is an alcoholic beverage created from the rice grain amazake. Miso: a fermented soybean paste that may be utilized in soups, marinades, and other applications (see ourkoji culture for miso)
  • Shoyu (soy sauce) is a highly frequent condiment that is used to season a wide variety of meals (see ourkoji culture for more information on soy sauce). Shio koji is a sauce that is used to season or marinade meats, vegetables, and other foods.

Revisited Koji Uses

  • Meat that has been tenderized and aged
  • Vegan cheeses
  • Fermented veggies
  • Garum and umami sauces are liquid condiments created from meat, fish, or any other protein source
  • They are also known as umami sauces.

The world of koji is thriving right now! Innovative chefs all over the world are always devising new recipes and techniques to make the most of koji’s full potential as a food ingredient.

Choosing the Right Koji Starter

It is possible to grow several distinct types of koji cultures, each of which produces a different type of enzyme. Proteases (which digest proteins) and amylases (which digest carbohydrates) are the two most common types of enzymes generated (to digest carbohydrates). It is determined by the strain whether quantities of these enzymes are present. A single strain of koji can be used for a variety of fermentation processes. When making amazake using akoji culture, the recipe will still work just as well!

Koji Starters for Fermenting Proteins

To ferment protein-based foods (such as beans, pork, and cheese), you need a koji culture that generates a large number of proteases. During fermentation, the enzymes will break down the proteins and convert them to their amino acid counterparts. Amino acids are responsible for the well-known umami flavor that may be found in many dishes. This is where the addicting and delectable flavors of miso, shoyu, and garum originate! For fermenting proteins, use a koji starter for miso, or purchase a ready-made koji to get started.

Koji Starters for Fermenting Carbohydrates

A koji culture that generates amylase enzymes is required for the processing of carbohydrates (rice, barley, etc.). A process will be used to break down lengthy chains of starch and carbs into simple sugars. After that, you will be able to produce amazake and sake. To ferment carbohydrates, use a strain of koji amazake or powdered koji (available at health food stores).

Choosing the Right Rice for Koji

Although koji may be grown on a variety of other substrates, including barley, soybean, and even popcorn (! ), rice is the best choice for beginners. Choose white rice that has been stripped of its protective husk (bran). You may use either short grain or long grain rice for this recipe. Sushi, arborio, basmati, and jasmine rice are all excellent choices for rice. It is necessary to put in a bit more effort while cooking brown rice because the husk hinders the koji mould from accessing its food supply.

Choosing the right incubator

Temperatures above 60°F and a relative humidity of 70% or more are ideal for the growth of koji mold. For the first 12 hours, the temperature should be maintained between 27°C and 35°C (80°F and 95°F). There are various approaches that may be used to accomplish this:

  • An oven that has been switched off yet the light is still on
  • A cooler with a seedling heating mat
  • A seedling heating mat An insulated box containing bottles of boiling water
  • In a huge water container, there is a sous-vide precision cooker (thermal circulator). The use of a dehydrator. Any other device that helps to keep the temperature steady
  • A thermometer is required in order to determine the temperature of the koji and to make any necessary modifications
  • And

Precautions must be taken! During the fermentation process, the koji mold generates heat on its own. It must be closely watched to ensure that it does not rise over 35°C (95°F). It has the potential to overheat and perish.

Homemade Koji Recipe

  • Koji is utilized in the production of miso, soy sauce, amazake, and a variety of other fermented foods. Currently, chefs are swooning over this Japanese spice, which adds a hint of umami and nuanced flavors to meals.


  • Alcohol or disinfectant in the amount of 80 percent
  • A food steamer or a steam basket
  • A large dish made of glass or stainless steel


  • Alcohol or disinfectant in the proportion of 80 percent
  • A food steamer or a steam basket
  • A large dish made of glass or stainless steel


  • Make sure the rice is completely clean by rinsing it under cold running water. For 12 hours at room temperature, completely cover the rice with water and let it soak. Drain
  • Fill the bottom of a cauldron with approximately 5cm of water. Place a steamer basket with holes on top of the pan. Place a cloth or several layers of cheesecloth in the bottom of the steamer basket
  • Pour the rice over the cloth and spread it out flat to completely cover the bottom of the steamer basket
  • Steam the rice until it is tender. Wrap the rice in the cloth by folding it over. Close the cauldron’s cover and set it aside. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, then add the rice and cover. Throughout the cooking process, make sure there is still water in the pot by checking it periodically. For 1 hour, or until the rice has lost its opaque appearance, is glossy, and has a rubbery feel, cook the rice on the stovetop. If the entire grain has a slight transparent appearance, it has been cooked. Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands. Disinfect all of your equipment as well as your work surface. Allow it to dry completely before placing the rice in a clean bowl, making care to break any lumps with your hands before doing so. Allow it to cool to 35°C (95°F) while stirring it periodically with a wooden spoon to aid in cooling. This ancient approach aids in reducing the amount of moisture in the rice.

(Alternative Cooking Method:)

  • Follow the directions for rinsing and soaking. Cook the rice in boiling water until it is al dente, or firm to the bite, but not mushy. Using a towel, spread out the rice grains and let the steam to escape
  • The rice grains should be flaky and dry to the touch after this process. They should be able to simply separate from one another.

Inoculation of Rice

  • Place the koji spores in a small basin and gently mix them together. Precautions must be taken! They are light and may easily float away from their host. Sprinkle the flour on top in a light, even layer. Remove the spores from the mixture without raising them. Spread the flour-spore mixture over the whole surface of the rice and gently mix it in (always using your hands, as tradition dictates) to ensure that the spores are distributed equally throughout the rice. Using a clean cotton towel, line the bottom of an air-tight container and put the rice on top of it
  • Cover with another towel and place the lid on top, but do not tighten it completely. Alternatively, distribute the infected rice in a wide glass dish and cover it with plastic wrap to keep the bacteria from spreading. Make a few small holes around the edges of the paper with a knife to allow for air circulation.
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Incubation of Koji

  • Place the container in the incubator at a temperature ranging between 27 and 35 degrees Celsius (80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Take a temperature reading, ideally using a digital thermometer that is put directly into the rice grain (to measure the temperature of the rice and not the air in the incubator). If required, raise or lower the temperature. Remove the rice from the water every 8 to 12 hours. Ensure that the grains are not dried (hardened) or moist (shiny) and that they still have a rubbery quality by rubbing them together. With your (clean) hands, thoroughly combine the grains, taking care to break up any lumps. If the grains are too dry and have solidified, sprinkle them with a little water and thoroughly mix them in the bowl. Remove any moisture that has formed if required. It should be possible to smell a faintly pleasant scent after 12 to 16 hours in the incubator, and little flecks of white foam should have begun to develop on the rice grains. Upon removal from the incubator after 30 to 36 hours, the grains should be coated with a fine white coating and should smell like a cross between mozzarella and vanilla, with a whiff of dirty socks in the background
  • Rice will be almost fully coated with white threads after 36 to 48 hours in the incubator. Koji is ready when the tiniest green or yellowish tint shows on a few grains of rice. This indicates that it has begun to create spores. In an airtight container, spread a thin layer of the koji and place it in the refrigerator. Because koji ferments at a high temperature, it should be applied in a layer no more than 3 cm (11/8 in.) thick to guarantee that fermentation is halted immediately and uniformly


Congratulations! You’ve created your own own koji. Have you given it a shot? Share your photos and use the hashtag #revolutionfermentation! Utilize the koji to create delicious fermentations like as miso, amazake, shio koji, and a variety of other dishes. Koji can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month and in the freezer for up to six months after harvesting and before use.

A dehydrator set at a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) can be used to dry the koji, which will help to preserve the enzymes that will be employed in subsequent fermentations.

Troubleshooting FAQ

Yes, rice is the best starting point, but koji may be grown on a variety of grains, including pearl barley, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, and others. and even straight on legumes in certain cases! When cooking the grains, make sure they are cooked al dente, meaning they are not overcooked with moisture. A bit more work is required when cooking whole grains that still include their germ (brown rice, hulled barley, wild rice). The koji spores are unable to get through the shell and into the grain of rice.

How Many Spores Should Be Used?

Diverse techniques and recipes use varied ratios of spores to substrate, resulting in different results (rice). Despite the fact that this recipe was designed to have a high success rate, the amount of spores used might be lowered to 12 teaspoons per 500 grams of dry rice. Make certain that the spores are properly mixed with the rice before inoculating it in any instance.

What Type of Flour Should Be Used to Disseminate Koji Spores?

Flour is added to the rice to aid in the dispersal of the spores. It also serves as a rapid food supply for the spores, allowing them to begin developing more quickly. In addition, flour absorbs excess moisture from the substrate it is used with. Rice flour, wheat flour, and corn starch are all excellent substitutes for each other.

How Do I Know if my Koji Is Successful?

Successful koji is white in color and has a scent that is delicious and fragrant. It has a “fuzzy” aspect to it on the outside. The filaments of the mold generate a sort of cloud of dust surrounding the grains. In contrast, if your koji is extremely wet, smells terrible, or has an unusual color (pink, orange, or black), it is likely that something has gone wrong. Don’t second guess yourself, and put it in the compost!

Why Did My Koji Grow Poorly?

If your koji mould did not develop as expected, it is likely that its environment was not conducive to growth. If the temperature of the incubation chamber is too low, the spores may take longer to colonize the rice, allowing the harmful microorganisms to establish a foothold in the rice first. However, if the temperature is kept above 35°C (95°F) for an extended period of time, the koji mould will die. It generates heat on its own throughout the fermentation process. As a result, the temperature must be closely maintained in order to avoid overheating.

If the grains become too dry, the koji culture will not be able to flourish.

Make certain that the sporest you use to inoculate your rice is of high quality.

Why Is My Koji Green or Yellow?

When the koji mold ferments for an excessive amount of time, it produces green or yellow sporesto propagate itself. This is unfortunate since the spores provide an unpleasant flavor to fermentations. If the green bits are separated, delete them and continue with the rest of the project. If the entire koji is green, you will have to toss it away in the compost and start over from the beginning.

Please keep in mind that utilizing this sporulated koji to reseed young rice is not recommended. The possibility of mutation or contamination is just too great. Make use of spores obtained from a reputable source.

Get Started!

  • It produces green or yellow spores when the koji mold ferments for an excessive amount of time. This is unfortunate since the spores impart an unpleasant flavor to fermented products. Removing the green bits and reusing the remainder is necessary if the green components are separated. If the entire koji is green, you’ll have to toss it in the compost and start again from scratch, which is awful. Please keep in mind that this sporulated koji should not be used to reseed young rice. Mutation or contamination are a serious threat because of the high danger. Make use of spores that have come from a reputable supplier.
  • In addition to “Koji Alchemy,” ” Miso, Tempeh, Natto, and Other Tasty Ferments,” and ” The Noma Fermentation Guide,” there is also ” The Noma Fermentation Guide “.

Revolution Fermentation is a company based in Quebec that produces fermented foods. Call (819) 481-1378 to discuss the Fermentation Revolution in 2022. a link to the page’s load

Culturing Koji at Home

Because of its function in the production of umami-rich substances such as sake, miso, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a slew of other condiments, koji is a well-loved fungus in Japanese cuisine. Despite the fact that Koji is a member of the Aspergillus genus, unlike some of its deadly siblings, it does not create aflatoxin, making it safe to ingest (3). Many chefs have recently experimented with utilizing koji in unique ways, such as the koji-encrusted pork served at Larder: A Curated DelicatessenBakery, which was created by Chef Jeremy Umansky.

  1. More information on the science underlying Koji may be found in this post by Bryan Quoc Le.
  2. Because the culture is living, it is necessary to take precautions to ensure that undesirable molds and bacteria do not outcompete the koji.
  3. In the event that this is your first time generating koji culture, it is recommended that you acquire a koji culture starter and experiment with it to gain a feel for the mold before collecting your own spores.
  4. A variety of manufacturers will sell dry koji-rice (malted rice) slates that may be “activated” by adding water to make them more effective.
  5. Because the koji has already been seeded with the rice, it reduces the amount of time spent prepping the rice by steaming it.
  6. Another form of culture that you may buy is koji-kin, which is similar to sourdough yeast starters in that it is fermented.
  7. It is also worth noting that, in contrast to the previous technique, which used the use of koji-rice slate, the process of beginning a culture from seedlings will take longer, but will be an useful learning experience for those who wish to develop their own koji-spores in the future.
  8. Making koji from koji-kin is a time-consuming procedure, so be sure to plan out your activities ahead of time to avoid delays.

It is possible that the fermenting process will take 45-50 hours. Fortunately, the koji will take care of the most of the job, and you will just need to check in on it every few hours. What you’ll need is the following:

  • The following ingredients: 500 g rice (traditionally, short grain white rice is used)
  • Soft water (use water that meets the manufacturer’s specified hardness level, if applicable)
  • 3 g koji-kin (Japanese pickled vegetables)
  • Steam cloth or cheese cloth (three), thermometer, metal tray or pan, strainer, Koji Incubator* (see “Notes” for instructions on how to set up your own incubator), 3 clean steam cloths or cheeseclothes

Starting your koji culture is as simple as the following:

  1. Wash the rice with water to remove any extra starch, and then soak the rice in soft water for several minutes. Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can from the soaked rice
  2. Store in the fridge overnight to keep it fresh. Wrap the rice in a clean towel and place it in a steamer to finish cooking. If you are using a bamboo steamer, remove the cover for the first 5-10 minutes to check that steam is rising, and then replace the lid and let the rice to steam for 40-45 minutes on high heat. Rice should be somewhat stiffer than completely cooked rice, but not undercooked to the point where the middle of the rice is still white
  3. All subsequent processes necessitate the use of extremely clean hands throughout the whole process. To avoid contaminating your rice, wash your hands before doing any of the following steps: Transfer the steamed rice to a new clean towel on a clean tray or pan and let it to cool by gently folding the rice to release the steam that has formed
  4. Because koji-kin is so fine, avoid doing this step near a fan or air conditioning system. Once the rice has cooled to 36 degrees Celsius, sprinkle part of the koji-kin on top of it and combine the rice and koji-kin with your hands until everything is well combined. Repeat the process until all of the koji-kin has been absorbed. Break apart any clumps of rice that have formed. Wrap the koji-rice combination firmly in a towel and incubate the mixture at 32-35oC for 18-22 hours to prevent the rice from becoming over-cooled. The presence of a bowl of water in the incubator helps to guarantee that the koji-rice does not dry out throughout the fermentation process. Remove any condensation that has formed on the lid to prevent water from falling onto the koji

Figure 2: The development of koji on rice. courtesy of fo.ol (free of charge)

  1. After 18-22 hours, little white speckles will appear on the rice, indicating the presence of koji growth. Remove the towel from the rice and carefully break apart any clumps of rice as soon as possible to avoid the temperature dropping too low. Return the koji-rice combination to the incubator for 3 hours once it has been rewrapped. If the koji-rice is cooked for 3 hours, it should have a delicious fragrance. Check to see if the rice has reached 40 degrees Celsius. If this is the case, raise the temperature a few degrees or wait a couple of hours. At 40 degrees Celsius, remove the koji-rice from its plastic wrapper and break it into bits, moving the broken up pieces to a new, clean tray or plate. Spread out the koji-rice in an even layer and cover with a moist towel. Return the koji-rice to the incubator for another 5-6 hours, or until the rice has reached 40 degrees C once again
  2. Remove the tray and break up any clumps that have formed. Prior to returning the tray to the incubator, let the temperature of the koji-rice to drop below 38 degrees C (104 degrees F). Make sure the koji-rice tray is covered with a moist towel
  3. After 3 hours, if the temperature of the koji-rice has returned to 40 degrees C, remove the tray and break up any clumps. A strong sweet aroma should be emanating from the koji-rice at this stage. The tray should be placed back into the incubator without being covered with a moist towel and allowed to ferment for 6 hours. After 6 hours, increase the temperature of the incubator so that the rice will be at 40-42 degrees Celsius. Set aside for another 6 hours to allow the fermentation to be completed
  4. You should have a dry koji-rice slate at this point. Take a careful look at the rice grains and you should notice fluffy white koji forming on the surface. Break apart the clumps and allow them to cool before storing them
  5. To keep your koji culture, place it in a freezer bag and place it in the freezer for up to three months. If you are not going to use it right away, you may keep it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Recipes to try with your koji culture (Start here if using the koji-rice slate starter):

Ama-zake (sweet sake): Prepare 150g of white rice into a porridge with the consistency of mayonnaise by cooking it until it is thick (takes around 300 mL of water, but adjust as needed). Allow the porridge to cool to 60 degrees C before serving. This step is critical because if you add the koji while the porridge is still hot, the enzymes will be deactivated. Cook for 8-10 hours at 50-60oC, stirring every 3 hours, until the porridge has cooled. Combine with 200 g of your koji-rice starting and keep heated (50-60oC) for 8-10 hours.

  1. Once the combination has finished fermenting, you may either combine it for a smoother texture or drink it straight up.
  2. Amazake is seen in Figure 3.
  3. Shio-koji (salted koji) is a kind of koji that has been salted.
  4. In a clean zip-lock bag, combine the koji-rice starter with the warm salt water and shake vigorously to combine.
  5. Once the shio koji is done, you can use it to season salads or marinade meat.
  6. In place of traditional fried chicken marinades, try using shio-koji and storing it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before frying as normal.
  7. Figure 4: Shio-koji cucumbers in their natural state.
  8. (Note: If you do not have access to an existing koji incubator, you may construct one using a cooler and some form of heater with an adjustable temperature setting.) Check out this resource from FermUp for information on how to build up your own farm.
  9. To determine if you have cultivated koji or another mold throughout the koji producing process, ask the manufacturer what color your koji should be, as well as whether the rice’s aroma should be sweet or savoury.
  10. References:
  1. Graber, C. Koji, and others Western Chefs Are Discovering and Transforming Koji Culture (July 26, 2020)
  2. Katayama, A. Western Chefs Are Discovering and Transforming Koji Culture (July 26, 2020). 26th of July, 2020)
  3. Machida, M., Yamada, O., and Gomi, K., “Genomics of Aspergillus Oryzae: Learning from the History of Koji Mold and Exploration of Its Future,” in Genetics of Aspergillus Oryzae: Learning from the History of Koji Mold and Exploration of Its Future. DNA Research, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 173–183, 2008. 米麹(米こうじ)の作り方|初めてでも失敗しない動画付き. June 26th, 2020)
  4. (July 26, 2020)
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The featured image is from of Food Craft Laboratory () Karin Cho is a writer for the LinkedIn SMF blog. Karin graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Biochemistry, but she struggled to find a way to combine her two loves for science and eating while there. After visiting numerous IFT events and completing a quality assurance internship in Europe, she opted to pursue a Master’s degree in Food Science and Technology at Iowa State University in the United States. Among the topics of her study is the creation of fat substitutes.

When she isn’t studying food science, she likes watching science fiction movies, going on walks in parks, and learning new recipes from the people she encounters while around the world.

What is Rice Koji And How To Use It? ~ Rice Koji, The Amazing Japanese Fermented Food ~

Rice Koji (also known as Koji Rice or Komekoji) is regarded to be the beginning of the traditional Japanese culinary culture of “fermentation,” and its origins may be traced back to the Nara era (710 AD – 794 AD). Rice Koji is a type of fermented rice that has been around since ancient times. koji is a sort of mold that is created from steamed grains that have been propagated using a koji starter Rice, wheat, or even beans can be used as the grains. Rice koji is made by propagating the koji starter on steamed rice, which is then fermented.

Aspergillus oryzae is the name of the fungus that is used to make the koji starter.

Traditionally, rice Koji is made from steamed rice that has been propagated and fermented with koji starting (koji starter).

In Japan, koji rice is used as a raw material for miso, soy sauce, and mirin, and it has a tight and profound association with Japanese cuisine.

Recommended Rice Koji Products

There are several different types of koji, each of which is distinguished by the grains that were used to proliferate the mold. The following are the several types of koji:

Koji Type 1Rice Koji

Rice koji is the most often consumed kind of koji. When manufacturing fermented foods, such as sake and miso, it may be prepared using either white or brown rice and can be utilized in a variety of ways. It can also be used to make shio koji, which is used to make shio koji and amazake. Please read this page if you want to learn how to manufacture rice koji! In related news, learn how to make Koji rice without making a mess. Hello and welcome to Kawashima, the Japanese online store. As part of this guide, we’ll show you how to manufacture rice koji the failsafe way, with the help of a koji starter that has been raised on rice gra.

Koji Type 2Barley Koji

A common application for barley koji is the production of barley miso and barley/wheat shoyu. Miso manufactured from rice koji is milder in flavor than miso made from barley koji, which is milder in flavor. This variety of koji is distinguished by a distinctive aromatic scent derived from barley, which serves as its main selling feature. Please read this post to learn more about how to manufacture barley koji! More Information about Barley Koji Can Be Found Here! Making Barley Koji: A Step-by-Step Guide Barley koji is one form of koji, and it is created by cooking barley and inoculating it with koji mold to produce it (koji kin).

Koji Type 3Bean Koji

Bean koji is a kind of koji manufactured by inoculating steamed beans with koji mold and fermenting the resulting product. Bean koji is primarily used in the production of miso.

Read more about the kinds of koji and how to use them in this article!

A Related Post Dedicated to Koji What exactly is Koji?

Understanding the Different Types of Koji and How to Use It “Can you tell me how koji differs from koji spore and koji starters?” “Can you tell me how many different varieties of koji I can find and how to utilize them?” The subject of this article is the whole.

How to Use Koji Rice

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of people who wish to experiment with fermented meals at home using koji rice. Amazake prepared with koji rice that has been handcrafted is considered to have a great nutritious value. It is nutritious, delicious, and high in probiotics. You can also include rice koji into a variety of dishes! Here are some dishes that you can make at home with rice koji.

Amazake (Sweet Sake)

Koji is used in the preparation of amazake. Rice is a non-alcoholic beverage, making it suitable for consumption by youngsters. Because of its high nutritional value, it is referred to as “nomu tenteki” in Japan, which translates as “drinking IV drips.” More information on Amazake may be found here: Posts Related to “How to Make Amazake” (Sweet Sake) Japanese energy rice drink prepared from koji (Aspergillus Oryzae) and rice, known as amazake (Sweet Sake). Since Ja, it has been well recognized for its health advantages.

(Brown Rice Sweet Sake) Brown Rice is a type of rice that has a brown color to it.


Making miso from scratch may take some time, but it is also enjoyable to experiment with. Making your own miso allows you to enjoy a flavor that is distinct from that of commercially available miso products. An instructional video on how to produce miso paste with rice koji may be found here. In Related News, Learn How To Make Miso What if I told you that you can create homemade miso from scratch with only three ingredients and a little bit of effort? In this essay, we’ll go through a simple concept.

Shio Koji (Salt Koji)

Salt koji, also known as shio koji, is the type of koji that was responsible for the international emergence of the koji trend. If you have the components on hand, you can simply create it at home! If you have access to shio koji, you will be able to create a far greater variety of cooking dishes. In related news, what exactly is Shio Koji and how does one go about making Shio Koji? Shio Koji is a frequent ingredient in Japanese cuisine. In fact, its rustic aspect extends beyond oriental cuisine and has successfully found its way into the western world as well.

Health Benefits of Koji

Despite the fact that Koji is a well-known traditional ingredient from Japan, few people are aware of its health-promoting properties. The following are some of the health advantages that may be obtained from consuming koji rice.

Koji Health Benefit 1Improve Intestinal Environment

Having a healthy gut environment will result in a robust immune system as well as a healthy complexion. Fermented foods are quite beneficial in terms of enhancing the gut environment. Aspergillus oryzae, Bacillus natto, Lactobacillus, and other beneficial probiotics may be found in fermented foods, amongst other things. The koji starter is the one responsible for the production of miso, Japanese soy sauce, and sake (Aspergillus oryzae). In Koji, there is a compound called glucosylceramide, which has beneficial benefits on the skin and the gut microbial flora.

Koji has the potential to operate as a prebiotic in the digestive system. Koji may be the missing link in the relationship between Japanese diet, gut microbial ecology, and long-term health.

Koji Health Benefit 2Prevent Obesity And Prevent Diabetes

According to research, rice koji can help to reduce body weight increase, fat buildup, and elevated blood glucose levels, all of which are produced by a high-fat eating pattern.

Koji Health Benefit 3Fatigue Recovery And Cell Regeneration

Koji is a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, and other nutrients, among other things. In addition to having the impact of turning carbs into energy, vitamins also help to speed up the recovery from weariness. Vitamin B2 also aids in the growth of the body and the regeneration of cells such as those of the skin, hair, and nails, among other functions.

Major Nutrients of Koji

Vitamin B1 Helps produce energy, Fatigue recovery, Suppress irritation/stress feeling, Amnesia prevention, Helps breaking down carbohydrates
Vitamin B2 Helps the metabolism of skin, Helps breaking don lipids, Accelerate growth speed, Sebum control, Prevent oral ulcer/stomatitis
Vitamin B6 Reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Improve immunity, Prevent arteriosclerosis, Helps breaking down proteins and lipids, Prevent oral ulcer/stomatitis, Suppress the excitation of nerve cells
Vitamin H (Biotin) Suppressing the cause of atopic dermatitis, Prevent diabetes, Alleviate epilation and gray hairs
Pantothenic acid Stress resistant, Helps breaking down lipids, Detoxification from chemical compound, Increase good cholesterol, Maintaining the health of skin, Increase immunity
Essential amino acids Among the 20 types of amino acids making up proteins, nine kinds of them can not be synthesized in the body. If there are any lacks of them, muscle, blood, bone cannot be made. These nutrients can be consumed in supplements, but when ingested from koji based food, the absorption rate in body is over 90%.

Dried Koji vs Raw Koji

Koji that has been dried (i.e., the water content of raw koji has been removed) is referred to as dried koji (fresh koji). It is more flavorful and aromatic to produce miso and amazake with fresh koji rather than dried koji, and it is easier to make fermented foods in a shorter amount of time. Because it contains so much moisture (because to the high water content), raw koji has several disadvantages, including the fact that it is easy for harmful germs to grow and that it cannot be kept for an extended period of time.

For the dried koji, you rehydrate the desired amount with water and then store the remainder of the dry koji in an airtight container.

How to Rehydrate Dried Rice Koji

How to rehydrate a dry rice koji is shown below. All you need is dry koji, water, and a bowl to make this delicious dish! How to Rehydrate Dried Rice Koji (See Related Posts) Table of Contents What Exactly Is Dried Koji? How to Prepare and Use Dried Koji Instructions for Rehydrating Dried Rice Koji What you should do in advance Points to Keep in Mind During the Rehydrating Process of Dried Koji

You Can Also Make Koji Rice At Home!

Nowadays, koji has gotten a lot of attention, and the number of individuals who manufacture it at home is on the rise as well, which is great news. Rice koji may be used as a foundation for a variety of dishes, including everything from homemade miso to amazake! The following is a step-by-step guide on how to create rice koji at home, which was previously only feasible at koji brewers and specialty stores. In related news, learn how to make Koji rice without making a mess. Hello and welcome to Kawashima, the Japanese online store.

Great Points of Handmade Rice Koji

  • You are well aware of the components that have been employed. Traditionally, miso, shouyu, amazake, and other fermented foods were created at home by the Japanese family using koji. However, eating preferences change with time, and miso, shouyu, and amazake were no longer considered “things to create” but rather “things to purchase.” As a result, many people have been anxious because they are unsure about the sort of rice that is used to manufacture koji-based delicacies such as miso and shio koji (salt koji), which are widely available in the market. If you make it from yourself, you may use pesticide-free rice that you’ve cooked yourself, which is both safer and healthier.
  • Handmade is a lot of fun! When Kawashimaya employees attempt to produce handcrafted rice koji, they are astonished to discover that their hands have become so smooth. It’s a well-known story that the hands of the main brewer at a sake (Japanese liquor) brewery are particularly attractive since they work in the sake-making industry. A large number of components that are beneficial to the skin may be found in the nutrients of rice koji. Then, if you decide to create rice koji by hand, it will require a great deal more care and attention. As a result, the miso and amazake that you created from the handmade rice koji will be even more wonderful than before.
  • It is more cost-effective. When making miso, you’ll need to measure out the koji in kilograms. If you decide to purchase it, it will be extremely expensive. Making your own koji using a koji starter (Apergillus oryzae) will be much more cost effective in this case because you can make koji rice from as little as 15kg of rice.

Let’s get started on producing the koji rice!

Rice Koji Q A

What is the proper way to utilize rice koji? It is excellent for marinating meat or chicken, and the koji sweet scent will improve the flavor of the meat or poultry. Use rice koji to produce amazake and miso, or combine it with salt to make salt koji, which are both delicious Japanese condiments. More information on how to utilize rice koji may be found in this section. The consumption of rice koji has been shown to provide health advantages. Rice koji has a number of health advantages that you might get.

It is beneficial for cancer prevention as well as for maintaining healthy skin.

Where can I get my hands on some rice koji?

It is also far more easy to purchase it from an internet retailer. We sell a variety of different kinds of koji at Kawashimaya the Japanstore, as well as dried koji products. Please have a look at this area.

Recommended Rice Koji Products

It is a form of Japanese fermentation starter made out of grains (typically rice) that have been infected with a mold known as Aspergillus Oryzae, which is a type of mold that grows on rice. However, if yeast is the magical key to many western culinary favorites – bread and beer being just two examples – koji plays an equally important function in Japanese cuisine, setting off fermentation in a variety of dishes such as miso, soy sauce, and mirin, to name a few examples. At first glance, the terminology surrounding koji can be a bit confusing, since it relates to both the particular mold and the grain that has been infected with the mold in question.

  • When making koji, you may also incorporate nuts and seeds, if you’re feeling very adventurous.
  • Koji is traditionally used in Japanese cuisine.
  • It can also be used to make a seasoning paste known asshio koji.
  • Make your own miso paste with this recipe, which includes Dean’s chocolate nib miso and toasted sesame miso, among other things.
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About Koji

Koji is required for the production of traditional Japanese spices like as soy sauce and miso, which are staples of the cuisine. It is not an exaggeration to argue that the “power of koji” has contributed to the development of Japan’s distinctive culinary culture. Koji is made by steaming grains with a koji mold and letting them sit for a few hours (rice, barley, soybeans, etc.). It is then carefully cultivated in warm, humid conditions to encourage the spread of the plant’s seeds. The size of koji mold spores ranges from 3 to 10 micrometers (micrometers).

Koji mold is certified as the “National Mold” of Japan!

koji was selected as Japan’s “national mold” by the Brewing Society of Japan in 2006, which described it as “a precious asset carefully fostered and utilized by our ancestors” and “a valuable asset carefully nurtured and used by our forefathers.” Ancient humans identified koji mold as precious among the different molds they encountered and employed it to make miso, soy sauce, Japanese sake, and other products.

Aspergillus oryzae is the scientific name for this species. Nihon koji kabi is the Japanese name for this creature. Miso, soy sauce, and refined sake are some of the applications.

Types of Aspergillus

  • Miso, soy sauce, and refined sake are the primary products made from this ingredient. To distinguish them, the spores are yellow to light green in color or yellowish brown in color.

White koji mold (Aspergillus kawachii)

  • The majority of the time, it is employed in the manufacturing of shochu. The spores are brown in color.

Black koji mold (Aspergillus iuchuensis)

  • This ingredient is primarily utilized in the manufacturing of “awamori” (Okinawa liquor). The spores are a dark brownish black color.

Red koji mold (Monascus genus)

  • Shaoxing wine, tofu-yo, Chinese red wine, and other products are made using this ingredient. This mold produces koji that is vivid crimson in color.

Bonito mold (Aspergillus glaucus)

  • In the manufacturing of katsuobushi, this ingredient is used (dried bonito). In addition to absorbing residual moisture from the katsuobushi, this mold also creates umami components and degrades lipids and oils.

Red koji mold (Monascus genus)

  • Shaoxing wine, tofu-yo, Chinese red wine, and other products are made using this ingredient. This mold produces koji that is vivid crimson in color.

Bonito mold (Aspergillus glaucus)

  • In the manufacturing of katsuobushi, this ingredient is used (dried bonito). In addition to absorbing residual moisture from the katsuobushi, this mold also creates umami components and degrades lipids and oils.

Types of Aspergillus

  • Rice miso, Japanese sake, mirin, vinegar, and amazake are all made with this ingredient.

Barley koji (Ingredient: Barley)

Please be advised that if this all appears to be the type of project that a technically-inclined cook with some spare time on her hands might attempt, she should proceed with caution: It is essential to pay close attention to temperature, humidity, and grain texture when cultivating A. oryzae. Details on how to make koji may be found in Sandor Katz’s The Art of Fermentation, The Noma Guide to Fermentation, and Rich Shih and Jeremy Umansky’s forthcomingKoji Alchemy, among other publications. Using koji spores to inoculate cocoa nibs, curing pork loin and beets with koji, and making miso-like amino pastes out of whole roasted squash are just a few of the experiments that Umansky, chef of Larderin Cleveland, and Shih, a mechanical engineer by training, have documented.

  • In the same way that Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread did for sourdough, this book has the potential to transform a million eager American home chefs into koji nuts.
  • In response, Sonoko Sakai says, “I don’t do all that cheffy stuff.” Despite the fact that she conducts miso making workshops, she only included a recipe for shio koji in her current book.
  • “It’s quite incredible,” she says of the experience.
  • It has now spread around the world.
  • Miso and Japanese soy sauce are made by fermenting pulses and grains for several months, and they represent the culmination of the koji magic for our palate.
  • Over the course of three koji-filled weeks, I experimented with both.

In order to taste shio koji on its own, you must first inhale its fruity aroma, then taste a round sweetness on the tip of the tongue similar to that of mirin or sweet white miso, followed by the shadow of a presence, as if the flavor is occupying a parallel dimension and is desperately attempting to push through to your side.

Rich Shih says he only marinates fish for a short period of time, but he suggests marinating red meat for a day or two.

I sliced a tri-tip into slices and marinated half of it with shio koji before cooking both kinds of beef in separate pans at a little lower heat for the marinated beef since the sugars in the marinade burn easily.

Marinating meat with salt always results in juicier meat, so the pleasant juiciness of the koji-infused beef came as no surprise to me.

The same experiment was carried out on steamed black fish and pan-roasted pork chops, with the same results. The benefits were more subtle here, but each time I greedily swallowed the marinated versions before distractedly picking at the remainder of the vegetables.

What Is Koji and How Is It Used?

Steamed cereals (rice, barley, or soybean) are inoculated with koji mold spores and then cultivated under circumstances that encourage breeding, such as high temperature and humidity. Koji is a type of fermented rice beverage. “Fermentation” refers to the process by which cereals (an organic component) are degraded by koji mold (a microbe), resulting in the formation of koji (a completely distinct factor). There are three different kinds of koji. Koji rice is made by steaming rice with a koji mold.

Soybean koji is made by boiling soybeans with koji mold.

What Is Koji Mold?

Koji mold is literally a form of mold, and it has been classified as “Japan’s national fungus” by the government of that country. Because of Japan’s peculiar environment, koji, which is one of the most distinctive foods on the planet, was created organically. It decomposes carbs into glucose, protein into amino acids, and fat into fatty acids, all of which are beneficial. Because of the astonishing properties of koji, it is sometimes referred to as the “king of oriental germs” due to its widespread usage in traditional Chinese medicine.

Is Koji Safe to Eat?

koji mold is, literally, a form of mold, and it has been declared as “Japan’s national fungus” by the Japanese government. Japan has a peculiar environment, which allows for the growth of koji, which is quite rare around the world. As a result, it effectively breaks down fat and converts carbohydrates to glucose. It also converts protein to amino acids. For its extraordinary abilities, koji is referred to be the “monarch of oriental germs” due to the fact that it performs such extraordinary activities.

Different Types of Koji Mold

When it comes to koji mold, Aspergillus oryzae is the most commonly seen. The characteristic of this is that it has a high breakdown capacity for starch. This is a necessary ingredient in the production of Japanese fermented foods (seasonings) such as sake, miso, and soy sauce, among others.

Aspergillus awamorii (black koji mold)

Because the mold spores are black in color, the term derives from the color of the mold spores. The decomposition power of starch is not as powerful as that of Aspergillus oryzae, but it has a greater ability to degrade protein than the latter. It is a necessary component in the production of awamori (strong Okinawan liquor distilled from rice or millet).

Aspergillus kawachii (Aspergillus niger / white koji mold)

Aspergillus kawachii is a mutant strain of the fungus Aspergillus awamorii, and the name derives from the individual (Mr. Kawachi) who found the strain. Its characteristics are nearly identical to those of Aspergillus awamorii, with the exception of the fact that its spores are white rather than black. Because of the hue, it is appropriate for usage in a professional setting such as sake brewing. When the spores of the black koji mold fly become attached to clothing, there is the chance of clothing being soiled.

To clarify, when it comes to the brewing of alcohol (like as sake or shochu), the fungus Aspergillus oryzae is often used for sake brewing, while the fungus Aspergillus awamorii or Aspergillus kawachii is typically used for shochu (distilled liquor) brewing.

Different Types of Koji

Koji rice is the most well-known and widely utilized variety of rice in Japan. Koji rice is prepared by fermenting steamed rice that has been infected with the koji mold. Koji rice is used in the production of traditional fermented foods such as miso, sake, and amazake (sweet sake). Koji rice is also used to make shio koji (salted rice malt), which has become increasingly popular in recent years. Is there anything more you’d want to know about shio koji? So, what exactly is salted rice malt (Shio Koji) and how does it come to be used?

Barley Koji (麦麹 mugi-koji)

Barley koji is produced by fermenting steamed barley that has been infected with a koji mold. Soy sauce, barley miso, and barley shochu are some examples of foods created from barley koji that are common in Japan (liquor). If you’re interested in learning more about barley miso, go here. What Is the Meaning of BARLEY MISO? – Miso Tasting Session

Soybean Koji (豆麹 mame-koji)

Soybean koji is produced by fermenting boiling soybeans that have been infected with the koji mold. Soybean miso is a fermented food derived from soybean koji, and the hatcho miso brand is the most well-known soybean miso brand in the world. It has a lengthy age time of more than 2 years. Want to learn more about hatcho miso? Check out the links below. Who or what is HATCHO MISO, and how does it work?

Is Koji Good for You?

When grain is transformed into koji, the koji mold creates approximately 100 different types of enzymes. For modern individuals who tend to have an imbalanced diet and a deficiency in enzymes, eating foods prepared from koji is an excellent way to complement their diet with more enzymes. Throughout the body, enzymes serve a critical part in the breakdown, transportation, synthesis, and excretion of nutrients, among other functions. It is claimed that even if you consume adequate nutrition, such as vitamins, minerals, and protein, your metabolic function may not be functioning properly, and this could lead to the development of lifestyle-related diseases if there is a lack of an enzyme that decomposes those nutrients and converts them into the energy your body requires.

What Do You Use Koji for?

Koji is used in a variety of Japanese foods, including alcoholic beverages, seasonings, and sweet drinks. Because koji produces enzymes throughout the aging and fermentation process, it has become a critical ingredient in many Japanese dishes over the years. A large number of enzymes are created by koji, as I previously explained. What sort of enzymes are created by koji and how do they differ from one another? There are three major digestive enzymes: chymotrypsin, alanine aminotransferase, and lipase.

Protease: Decomposes protein into amino acids, bringing out the umami flavor and tenderizing the meal.

Lipase: Decomposes fat into fatty acids and glycerin, allowing the food to become less greasy. Amylase and protease, in particular, are important enzymes in traditional Japanese fermented foods because they impart sweetness and umami (taste and flavor) to the dish.

What Is Koji Food?

The following are the five most important Japanese fermented dishes created from koji:


Miso is prepared by fermenting a blend of soybeans, koji, and salt over an extended period of time. Some miso takes only a few weeks to ferment to completion, while others might take up to 2 years or more. Generally speaking, miso is classified according to the type of koji used: Using koji rice to make rice misoUsing barley koji to make barley misoUsing soybean koji to make soybean misoUsing koji rice to make rice miso Despite the fact that most miso, with the exception of sweet white miso, has a mostly salty flavor, they have a moderate flavor.

When it comes to flavoring meals in Japan, miso is a highly versatile ingredient that can be utilized in a variety of ways, including miso soup, stir-frying dishes, and stewed foods.

It is unquestionably a necessary soup meal for the Japanese.

Miso Comes in a Variety of Forms

Soy sauce

Soy sauce is prepared from soybeans, barley, koji, and salt, among other ingredients. To manufacture koji for soy sauce, koji mold is dusted upon a combination of soybeans and barley, followed by fermentation. The koji is then combined with salt water, where they are allowed to ferment for more than half a year before being transformed into unprocessed soy sauce (moromi). Last but not least, unrefined soy sauce (moromi) is wrapped in a towel and pressed with pressure while applying heat. In Japan, soy sauce is one of the most widely used seasonings.

Sushi enthusiasts all around the world are well aware of this, don’t you think?

Mirin (type of sweet rice wine used in cooking)

Mirin is prepared with glutinous rice, koji rice, and shochu, among other ingredients (a clear liquor). The mixture of the three components is allowed to develop before being pressed while putting pressure to it. Grains of glutinous rice undergo decomposition into sugar and protein, which results in the formation of amino acids, during the maturation phase of grains of glutinous rice. In this way, mirin has a sweet flavor and is rich in umami. By the way, the alcohol content is around 14 percent by volume.

As a result, the sweetness of mirin differs somewhat from that of sugar; it is not only sweet, but also mild in flavor.

Sake (rice wine)

Sake is prepared by fermenting a mixture of shubo (yeast mash), koji rice, steamed rice, and water. Sake is a traditional Japanese beverage. The blend of those ingredients is fermented for approximately one month, resulting in unprocessed sake (moromi). To finish off, the sake is wrapped in a cloth and pressed while putting pressure to the surface of the liquid. Shubo (yeast mash) is a significant volume of yeast that is used to stimulate the fermentation of alcoholic beverages.

It’s prepared by fermenting a mixture of koji, steamed rice, water, yeast, and Lactic acid bacteria in a fermenting vessel for a period of time. Because of the activity of starch in koji rice and steamed rice being degraded into sugar, sake is sweet in flavor and appearance.

Amazake (fermented rice drink)

Amazake is a traditional Japanese sweet drink prepared with steamed rice and koji rice, which is fermented. In order to create this, you must combine rice porridge with koji rice and let it out at room temperature for approximately 8 hours to ferment. Despite the fact that the word “sake” (which denotes alcohol) appears in the name, amazake contains just a trace quantity of alcohol. It has a very sweet taste to it, and the flavor of koji rice is really distinct. In the winter, Japanese people drink hot amazake, while in the summer, they drink amazake with ice.

Was Amazake and What Does It Do?

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