Koji, Nigari & Natto Starter

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Koji is steamed barley or polished rice inoculated with the Aspergillus oryzae culture. It is responsible for the fermentation process of not only amazake, but also miso and a number of other fermented foods. These specific cultures can be used for amazake, rice milk, barley miso and rice miso, sake, shio koji, and pickles.

Umami is found naturally in a wide range of Japanese products. You find the flavour in shiitake,  fish, kombu, nori, wakame and Japanese tea. The umami flavour is also created through koji fermentation, which means that miso, soy sauces, amazake and sake, for example, can also be added to this list.
In Europe, umami is imitated in many products through the addition of glutamate (a flavour enhancer). However, no one does umami like the Japanese. For them, creating the umami flavour naturally has become an art. The best way is the process of koji fermentation that creates umami.

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