What is koji?

Yellow's snake beans and black rice

Yellow's snake beans and black rice

Koji has been used by Japanese cooks for centuries to make everything from soy sauce and sake to miso and mirin. It's a living food made from steamed rice treated with a mould called Aspergillus oryzae, and if you love umami it's about to become your favourite seasoning. In Sydney, at Momofuku Seiobo, koji butter brings out the sweet brininess of marron.

At Yellow it amps up snake beans and black rice. Tomoko Onuki, co-founder of Rice Culture, has been making organic dry koji and miso by hand in Nerang on Queensland's Gold Coast since 2012, supplying locals such as Halcyon House's Paper Daisy restaurant in Cabarita. This year Onuki and partner Yukiyo Copley began production of shio koji, a fermented sauce of koji, rice, salt and water that not only seasons but also draws out natural flavours and tenderises meat. "It has 30 per cent salt to koji, but it's so much healthier [than salt], and you use less because of the umami," says Onuki.

riceculture.com.au 


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Sydney Fish Market: now delivering
17.12.2017
The best food books of 2017
15.12.2017
France leads on food sustainability, Australia lags
08.12.2017
Artisanal Korean ingredients at Table 181
30.10.2017
Adelaide's Ferment the Festival
25.10.2017
The Producers: Fawk Foods
26.09.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

What is Bull-Dog sauce?

Tonkatsu sauce is Japan’s answer to barbecue sauce, and Bull...

Four ways with soba

Served hot or cold, these buckwheat noodles are a smart stan...

What is Japanese curry?

Curry might not seem like the most Japanese of foods but thi...

Cutting edge: Sydney’s new Chef’s Armoury store

Chef’s Armoury reopens in Stanmore with Japanese barbecues, ...

Four ways with furikake

This Japanese seasoning goes beyond salt and pepper to deliv...