Koji and Japanese Fermentation

Koji is the national mold of Japan. It is used to make almost all fermented products in Japanese cuisine, such as miso, soy sauce, and sake. Koji is also becoming a culinary keyword lately, and top chefs in the world such as Rene Redzepi and Ferran Adria have been actively utilizing it in innovative ways.

If anyone has their eye on this trend, it’s Akiko Katayama, the host of Japan Eats on HRN. She has interviewed authors, educators, and chefs, and other makers from around the world about this beneficial mold that is quintessential to Japanese culture. Below you can learn more about koji by listening to Akiko’s conversations with the experts.

Akiko’s guests discuss their passion for Japanese cuisine and their personal career journeys, while also providing ideas for how you can incorporate koji and other Japanese fermented foods into your kitchen. When you do, Korin’s knives and tableware will bring out the best of your culinary creations.

Japan Eats: Koji Alchemy: Akiko’s guests are Rich Shih and Jeremy Umansky, who just wrote a great book on Koji titled Koji Alchemy: Rediscovering the magic of mold-based fermentation. In this episode, they discuss what koji is, why it is so special and powerful in producing great flavors, what you can make with it in both traditional and modern ways and much, much more!

Japan Eats: Born to Preserve the Koji Culture: Koichi Higuchi of Higuchi Matsunosuke Shoten in Osaka, Japan provides koji starters to manufacturers of traditional fermented foods in Japan, such as miso, soy sauce, and sake. In this episode, Koichi will discuss his 6th generation-old family business, what koji is, how to use it, and much, much more!

Japan Eats: Miso, Natto, Tsukemono: Japanese Fermented Foods: Our guests are Kirsten and Christopher Shockey. They are the co-founders of Ferment Works where they educate people about fermented foods. They are also the co-author of multiple books about fermentation, including “Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fermenting Grains and Beans”, which came out in June 2019.

Japan Eats: Making Woodwork for Japanese Fermentation: Our guest is John Cox, owner and cooper at Quercus Cooperage in the Hudson Valley. John founded Quercus Cooperage in 2013 to pursue the art of traditional coopering. It is one of the 33 cooperages in the US, and is one of the very few, or maybe the only one that manufactures items for Japanese-style fermentation.

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