Information on Koji from those who know...
Below are just a few outstanding quotes from curated articles on Koji that allow for a glimpse into the transformational power of the oldest & most beloved domesticated fungus on our planet.
Koji on Grains
"Koji is a delicious mold grown on grains, which are then used to ferment, transform, and enrich other foods. The most common grains used to make koji are ones that are full of starch, like white rice, brown rice, and barley, with each type of grain contributing its own unique taste to the koji and to the foods and dishes that the koji, in turn, helps to create."
Koji in Miso
"Koji is also key to the development of bean pastes, which are important staples in Asian pantries. Miso, Japan’s venerable paste, is more than just a soup at your favorite Japanese restaurant. It’s an umami-rich, salty, fermented paste, traditionally made with soybeans combined with either rice koji or barley koji. As always, the koji is tasked with slicing open the molecules to release delicious flavors"
Koji on Meat
"The most common use for shio koji is as a marinade or cure for poultry, meat, seafood, and even vegetables. For proteins, slather them up with shio koji and let them hang out for as little as 30 minutes and up to 24 hours, depending on the size and type of ingredient you are working with. Generally speaking, the larger the piece of food, the longer you should marinate it. Over time, shio koji will begin to cure the ingredient it's in contact with, so delicate foods, like fish, should be marinated for a shorter amount of time."
More Koji Sweetness
"Amazake is traditionally mixed with fresh fruit juice or more water and served warmed as a health drink. Amazake however, can also be used as a fermented sweetener for savory dishes instead of other forms of sugar to add depth, complexity, and pro-biotics to a dish. Because of its paste-like consistency, it is especially good in braised dishes, added at the end of cooking. Amazake is more often added to sweet confections"
"There are numerous benefits of Amazake. It promotes beautiful skin & hair growth, relieves constipation, aids weight loss, relieves fatigue, increases concentration, aids good sleep and more. Because of these benefits and its nutritional content, Amazake is colloquially called “super drink” or “drinkable IV drip fluid”.
"As with other koji kin-derived ingredients like soy sauce and miso, shio koji lends savory depth to foods it comes into contact with, thanks to protease enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids, which we perceive as umami. It's also rich in amylase enzymes, which break down starches, making it equally effective for marinating vegetables. This enzymatic activity not only boosts flavor but also has a textural effect on ingredients, making meat and poultry incredibly juicy and tender and firming up fish in a short amount of time. But shio koji isn't just a marinade; it can be used to boost the flavor of sauces, dressings, pickles, baked goods, and even ice cream bases."
At Big Life KOJI we aim to contribute to the Canadian Food Policy goal of Improved food-related health outcomes as stated:
"Improved health status of Canadians related to food consumption and reduced burden of diet-related disease, particularly among groups at higher risk of food insecurity.
The food that Canadians eat is a key determinant of their health and wellbeing. Everyone involved in the food system can work together to make it easier for people living in Canada to have sufficient access to safe and nutritious food, maintain a healthy diet that is culturally diverse, and reduce the burden of diet-related disease."
According to the SOY Info Centre based in the United States Koji Ferments have been available in North America since 1913. Next year will be the 100th Anniversary of KOJI Based products on Turtle Island. We think it is high time that more Canadians were made aware of the enzymic power house that makes everything taste better while nourishing your gut ecosystem. Koji Ferments are the past, present and future of long life and prosperity.