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Koji Starters- Koji- Seed Miso-Natto Starter



Amazake is a naturally sweet cultured rice drink. During the culture process, enzymes break down complex rice starches to sugars making amazake sweet to the taste for drinking or use as a natural sweetener in other foods.

Miso is a savory seasoning which aids digestion and is used much like bouillon in soups, but also in an endless number of grain and vegetable dishes, marinades, and pickles. Basic miso varieties are named rice, barley or soybean, according to that main ingredient, and have varying amounts of salt, other ingredients and aging times.

Shoyu (naturally fermented soy sauce) and Tamari are cultured liquid soy seasonings, similar to miso but made with more liquid.

All the above are two-step fermentations. Making koji, the first step, mixes cooked grains and/or soybeans with different strains of Aspergillus oryzae, a mold, called "tane koji" or koji starter. This first step involves cooking the grain, adding the starter, and incubating the koji culture about 48 hours. The second fermentation, making amazake, misos, shoyu, or tamari involves simply stirring the koji together with other ingredients according to the directions provided.

The five varieties of "tane koji" we import from Japan are listed below, each with the names of the products to be made with it and the aging times in parentheses. Kept cool and dry, all Koji Starter Kits-15g, have at least a 6 month shelf life at full potency.

Light Rice Koji Starter for sweet white Shiro Miso (1 month), light yellow Shinshu Miso (6-12 months), Amazake, Koji Pickles, and Sake

Red (Rice) Miso Koji Starter for red rice Sendai Miso (6-12 months), and sweet red Edo Miso (4-6 weeks)

Barley (Mugi) Miso Koji Starter for regular barley, Mugi Miso (12-18 months), mellow barley, Amakuchi Mugi Miso (1-2 Months), Nattoh Miso and Hishio condiments.

Soybean (Hatcho) Miso Koji Starter for soybean, Hatcho Miso (18-24 months), and Wheat-free Tamari (18 months)

Shoyu Koji Starter for naturally fermented wheat and soybean soy sauce, Shoyu (6-12 months)

Koji Starter Kits are available in each of the five varieties.  (Easy to use, most popular with our customers)

Each Koji Starter Kit-15g (Aspergillus oryzae mixed with Organic Rice Flour) contains:

    1. Starter for approximately 6 pounds of koji (to make 5 pounds of miso) or 2 gallons of shoyu.
    2. Step-by-step directions for making koji.
    3. Recipes for each fermentation mentioned above in the variety descriptions.

 Koji Starter Kit-15g

 Choose from  Light,  Red,  Barley,  Soybean or Shoyu

 $7.00 each

Order Directions and Form: Within U.S.

Outside U.S.

Pure Spore Koji Starter Packets are available in five varieties. (Imported from Japan)

Four varieties come in 40g packets, each with spore sufficient to inoculate 440 pounds of Koji substrate (rice, barley, soybeans, etc.) for making Koji and Miso.  Shoyu comes in a 60g packet with enough spore for 295 pounds of soybeans and wheat to make 100 gallons of Shoyu.

Kept cool and dry and unopened, pure spore Koji Starter-40g/60g, have at least a 12 month shelf life at full potency.  If opened, pure spore Koji Starter-40g/60g, have at least a 6 month shelf life at full potency. (After this, you may need to use more of the Starter to get the desired results)

Pure Spore Koji Starter (Aspergillus oryzae):

Koji Starter-40g (Pure Spore)

 Choose from Red, Soybean, Barley or Light (40g)

 $48.00 each (Limit 5 per order)

Koji Starter-60g (Pure Spore)

Shoyu (60g)

Order Directions and Form: Within U.S.

Outside U.S.

Ready Made Light Rice Koji or Barley Koji (Imported from Japan)

Light Koji- The first fermentation is done for you!  Organic lightly polished rice, is cultured with Light Rice Koji Starter.  This 500 gram package of gently dried koji will allow you to make up to 8 quarts of Amazake, 4 pounds of miso, lots of pickles or some of each.  Recipes for Shiro and Shinshu Miso, Amazake, and Koji Pickles are included.  Please refrigerate or freeze the unused portion.

Barley Koji- The first fermentation is done for you!  For use in making Mugi Miso, Finger Lickin' Miso, Nattoh Miso, pickles and other fermented foods.  Recipes included. Freeze the unused portion.

Light Rice Koji-500g    $24.00 each (Limit 2 per order)
Barley Koji-500g



Order Directions and Form: Within U.S.

Seed Miso

Unpasteurized Miso, Seed Miso, is an ingredient in Miso making that contributes active beneficial organisms to get new Misos fermenting vigorously.  A recommended addition to your first homemade Miso, Seed Miso can be saved from your first batch for all future Misos.

Seed Miso: 4 Ounces


 $16.00 each (Plus Shipping,  See U.S. Orders Page)

Order Directions and Form: Within U.S.



Called Natto in Japan and Thua-nao in Thailand this cultured whole bean soy food has a strong, somewhat persistent, unique flavor. The bacteria, Bacillus subtilis var natto, makes cooked soybeans into a sticky, viscous polymer during the 6-12 hours of incubation. This creates wispy threads evident when the cultured soybeans are pulled apart. Kept cool and dry, Natto Starter has at least a 6 month shelf life at full potency.

A good source of protein, this robust soy food adds zest to any grain or noodle dish, soup or sandwich. A little goes a long way, so what is not intended for use in a day or two may be easily frozen.

Natto Starter Kit: This kit contains the culture, directions and recipes.  Each Kit contains enough starter to make a total of 4.5 pounds of Natto or 3 batches of 1.5 pounds each.  One teaspoon of Natto starter, plus one pound of soybeans will make 1.5 pounds of fresh Natto.

Commercial Natto Starter: A concentrated spore imported from Japan, this vial has sufficient spore to start 48 pounds of dry soybeans making about 86 pounds of natto. 

Natto Starter Kit-11g Makes 4.5 pounds     $7.00 each (Limit 10 per order)
Commercial Natto Starter-3g (Pure Spore) Makes 86 pounds      UNAVAILABLE

                                                                                                                                                                                         Order Directions and Form: Within U.S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Outside U.S.


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