WHAT IS KOJI?
Koji, scientifically known as Aspergillus Orzae, is a mold fungi. Just like mushrooms, it begins its life as a spore. These spores produce tiny filaments called hyphae, which forms a tight network of mycelium as it matures. Towards the peak of maturity, instead of maturing into a fruiting body like a mushroom, koji matures into a microbial mat comprised of tasty mold. Koji is traditionally grown on rice, barley and soybeans but can be grown on almost all substrates that contain protein and or starch.
At the peak of it’s maturity, koji produces two main types of powerful enzymes, proteases and amylases. Proteases break down proteins and amalyses break down starches. These enzymes are great at breaking down these larger protein and starch molecules into delicious amino acids and sugars.
This picture shows koji grown on organic white rice.
Here is a list of some of our favorite resources on koji fermentation
Here is a list of some of our favorite resources on koji fermentation:
Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fermenting Grains and Beans by Kirsten K. Shockey Christopher Shockey
The Noma Guide to Fermentation by René Redzepi David Zilber
Koji Alchemy: Rediscovering the Magic of Mold-Based Fermentation by Jeremy Umansky & Rich Shih