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Legendary Koji Maker

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Do you know what "Moyashi" is? If you’re learning the Japanese language, you would say it’s bean sprouts. That’s correct, but it also refers to the seed Koji fungus, the source of Koji mold.

Koji is the main ingredient in Japan’s most traditional seasonings: miso, soy sauce, amazake, and sake. I became interested in traditional fermented food after I started making homemade Miso and Shio Koji. I’m always in search of good Koji.

Kyoto is the birthplace of koji culture, and it began in the late Heian period (794-1185) with the "Kitano Koji-za," which monopolized the right to produce and sell koji at the historic Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.


There are only about seven existing seed koji makers in Japan now, and among them, "Moyashiya Hishiroku" is the only one remaining in Kyoto with a long history of over 360 years in business. You can get rice koji in Japanese grocery stores, but if you want to improve the quality of your fermented food production, try the koji from this legendary manufacturer. They also offer Koji rice powder, which is more versatile than regular Koji rice. You just sprinkle over meat or fish before cooking to tenderize it and enhance the flavor. So amazing! You should get your hands on koji powder and use it on your next meal!

Check out my Food page to learn more about Japanese food.

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