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A Little Bit About Koji

A Little Bit About Koji

Old 02-02-2020, 10:17 AM
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I had no idea that Koji was such a huge hit with the celeb chefs. My dau is a food show junky and she just informed me about the new, Koji craze...who knew?

For those of you who don't know, koji is a fungus that is grown on rice, barley and other substrates. It is then used to make all sorts of things like miso, shoyu, tamari, aminos, sake, mirin, amazake...the list goes on and on. It is supposed to have some health benefits, has been used for thousands of years and is very safe to eat. It's not just used to make Asian foods. Koji is beginning to show up everywhere! There are chefs out there that are now growing it on meats. The result is a very tender and more flavorful steak, or chop.

So, I showed my dau my new book about making things with koji and we both got very excited. I bought some barley koji starter that was ready to go and I made some miso. Now I want to make my own Koji starter. I'm going to start some this week. I'll let you know how it goes.

~ C
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:55 PM
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Please post about it. I am always interested in trying different food tastes.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:24 AM
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I first made a couple of batches of Tempeh, an Indonesian product, which is a soybean cake that is covered with an edible fungus (mushroomy taste.) It was easy and both batches were a total success! I now have a freezer full of Tempeh.

The Tempeh recipe is in the book and it is a very similar process to making koji. Now that THAT is under my belt, I'm ready to try my first Koji. I'm going to make either a barley koji, (made from simple, pearled barley,) or a rice koji, (made from arborio rice, which I have a big canister of.) My only issue is that my set up requires that it be kept at a narrow temperature range by using an aquarium heater. I have a new heater, but I don't thinking it is working properly. During my Tempeh project, the whole batch got cold and slowed way down. I almost threw it out, but I was able to bring it back by adding hot water to the water bath it was floating in. I think that Koji is a little more particular about temperature, so I'll have to go out and buy another heater before I get started...augh!

Koji can be frozen, dried, or kept fresh in the refrigerator for a short time period. Once I have a few batches of koji made, I plan to use it to make soy sauce, miso, gochujang and other interesting things...maybe even some sake. I'm excited!

~ C
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