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The Koji Kitchen

The Koji Kitchen

Small batch koji hand made in Edinburgh. Koji is a Japanese ingredient that serves as the basis for a huge number of foods and condiments, from soy sauce to saké. It’s rice fermented with a specific type of microbe (aspergillus oryzae) to produce enzymes, which open up all sorts of incredible flavours.

Our Story

Koji is a type of edible mold called aspergillus oryzae. There are other members of the aspergillus family that are also used in similar ways all over Asia. Koji is specifically Japanese and has been used there for well over 1500 years.

Molds have been used in fermentation to provide complexity and depth in all sorts foods, from brie to salami. At the heart of it, like any fermentation, the microbes and enzymes break down some of the molecules in the starting ingredients into their constituent parts.

Historically koji and similar solid substrate mold cultures have been used to make all kinds of things like soy sauce, miso, tamari, saké and mirin. That rice wine vinegar at the back of your cupboard? Made from koji. The tasty little jar of chilli and black bean oil next to it? Yep, koji.

When you dig into it, it is amazing how many foods have been completely embraced without the knowledge of the underlying ingredient and process that created them.

Koji has the particularly fantastic ability to fragment proteins and starches into amino acids (one of which is the fabled glutamate, which provides that fabulous umami taste) and sugars respectively.

Our Values

  • Independent Company

    Independent Company

  • Slow Food Supporter

    Slow Food Supporter

  • Support for Small Producers

    Support for Small Producers

  • Small Producer

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