Koji and Amazake

Posted on May 25, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

I am now researching about koji a lot. Koji is Aspergillus oryzae. It is a fungus and used in Japanese traditional food production such as shoyu, miso, mirin, rice vinegar and sake. The popular drink associated with koji is “amazake”. The direct translation is “sweet” “sake”, but it is not an alcohol drink. I have been always unhappy with store bought amazake at Japanese food store in USA since it was too sweet..could be artificially prepared. Just a couple of days ago I found an easy-to-prepare amazake recipe. The result was delicious drink which I enjoyed enormously. It is said that amazake was once a popular super drink consumed by commoners in the city of Edo (present Tokyo) during Edo period (1600-1868). Amazake is packed with natural sugar, essential amino acids and vitamins.