Try “Koji drink” @ cafe in Japan !


“Koji” as a drink become popular in Japan.
Some healthy food cafe or organic cafe serve Koji drinks,
but now you can find a Koji speciality cafe.
Cafe where you can drink Koji related drinks!!!

Here is one of the Koji Speciality cafe you can find in Japan.
This is “KOUJI CAFE” and located in Echigo-yuzawa station in Niigata.
This station is famous for ski resorts area.


All flavors are available for cold and hot,
and quite reasonable price.
Take away OK.

Amazake is the basic/standard one if you want to try.
No sugar added, but very sweet.
This is same as Ama koji, which I introduced in this blog before.
(Please check Ama-koji if you have interest)
It is natural sweetness from rice, but because of Koji effect,
rice become very sweet. What a great change!

I tried Koji-late. Amazake + milk.
It was quite nice, more milky mild.
Lots of different flavors are available.
Green tea, Apple, ginger, caramel, black sesame, soybean flour….
Can you imagine Koji drink with these flavors?
You must try!!


Inside is like this.

And…can you see the mark at the back?
There is Onsen (hot spring), too !!

Wow, such a Onsen country. (Nice!)

Grilled Salmon ~ Awesome Koji benefit !! ~


Typical Japanese breakfast set !! Rice, Miso soup and grilled salmon.

This salmon is amazing! It is not just a grilled salmon.
It have to be marinated with Koji !!! (Ama-Koji or Shio-Koji)
The flavor will changed dramatically.

I cannot go back to normal salmon any more.

Koji is amazingly full of enzymes. It is often said “Koji is a mine of enzymes”.
One of the main enzyme in Koji is called “PROTEASE“.
This enzyme works for protein in food, such as salmon.
It makes food soft (one process of digestion).
The protein which was broke into small pieces converts to amino acid, which is Umami.

To shorten, Koji makes protein softer and yummier.

But! The Koji has to be raw, not the one with heat sterilisation,
because heat sterilisation will kill protease function of breaking down protein into small pieces.
Most of the Ama-Koji and Shio-Koji from shop in package are sold after heat treatment.
Therefore, you need to make your own one at home so that you can get all benefit from Koji.
(Here is how to make your Ama-Koji and Shio-Koji)

So if you have salmon at home, maybe try to marinate your salmon with row active Koji once.
Preparation is nothing compare to how yummy the salmon will be.


At first, put the salt on the salmon and leave for a while.
Get rid of water/liquid from salmon. Wipe well.

Then place your salmon on the kitchen paper. Covered your salmon with it.
Put your Ama-Koji or Shio-Koji onto it.

Then wrap it.

Leave for over night at least in the fridge. Even 1 or 2 days.
You can even keep in freezer if you prepared a lot.

Just grill the marinated salmon !!
You will find the difference already when you are grilling. Smell beautiful.
But be careful, it will be burnt easily.
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Bettara-duke ~Daikon Sweet pickles by Ama koji~

Bettara duke is Japanese famous sweet Daikon pickles.
If you have Ama koji (Sweet koji), you can make it at home easily.

It is nicely naturally sweet !

This is how to make Bettara-duke. (べったら漬け)

Cut Daikon.
Of course, you can peel its skin. I just prefer to eat vegetable with skin!

Put salt around cut Daikon.

Put them into a container.

Then put weight on the Daikon.
Mmm, I didn’t have proper weight, so I changed to cans.
With this weight and salt effect, Daikon will start releasing water from Daikon itself.

Can you see water? I didn’t add any water, it is the water from Daikon.
(It takes one or two days to have water like this)

When water comes to the top, then you can take Daikon out from container.

Now use Ama-koji (Sweet Koji) as pickling sauce.
Pour prepared Ama-koji into container. (Or you can get Ama-koji from Asian shops)
(This time, I added little bit of Mirin, that is why this pickling sauce looks little bit brown)
Then put the Daikon into the pickling sauce.


In this pickling sauce, you can add chili or Konbu for more deep taste.

Wait one or two days. Ready to eat!
Fermentate gradually, then Daikon become really yummy pickled Daikon!
Enjoy fermentation healthy & yummy life!!

Ama-koji Miso sauce potato

Easy side dish for your dinner! Natural sweetness is melt in your mouth.


Miso, Ama-koji (Sweet koji) and potato. What a easy ingredients!!

Boil or steam potatos.
I used 2 different types of potatos to enjoy different texture.


Mix Miso and Ama-koji.


Mix your Ama-koji miso and just steamed potatos.


Ready to serve~.
Simple, therefore you can enjoy the natural tastes of the ingredients!! Itadakimasu !!


Ama Koji ~ Sweet Koji ~

Ama koji (sweet koji) is fermented rice koji, cooked with thin rice porridge.

This Ama koji can be used as seasoning, mild healthy sweetness.
Also, it can be used for marinade sause, pickles dressing, and sweets itself.
Unlimited ways of using in your cooking.

For example….
Marinade fish. This is one of my favorite way.
Bacteria in this Ama koji will make your fish softer and change protein into Umami !!!
Cheap salmon become like special grilled fish in fancy dining.
Enzyme which is gift from ferment process makes the fish richer in nutritious !!
Also, fish stinky small goes off !!
So many good things around it.

When you grill it, it can be burnt the fish easily, so please take care not to burn it.
Once you have this Ama koji marinaded grilled salmon, you cannot go back to normal salmon !!

If you have vegetable in your fridge, chop them up and marinade them over night.
It turns to wonderful pickles just like this↓

You can try various type of vegetables.
Again, koji enzyme works a lot.

Here, frozen Ama koji with fruits, it turns to natural sweet after your meal !!
All natural sweetness from fermented koji.
This is miracle.


Also, Ama koji porride is good for your breakfast.
Try with seasonal fruits!!
This one is chopped up apple, walnuts and Ama koji.
Healthy yummy breakie!!

Here is how to make Ama Koji at home.
You can buy Ama Koji from super market (maybe from asian shops), I recommend you to make by your own.
Details will be explained later, but you get all benefit if you make it by your own.
Not many koji benefits from packaged Ama koji compared to home made one.

First, you need Rice Koji.
(You can get it from Japanese super market. If you are in Melbourne, you can ge it from Fuji mart in South yarra )

Also, you need thin rice porridge.
Like this thickness.
All you need is, thin rice porridge and rice koji and rice cooker.
Now, put rice koji into thin rice porridge and mix well.
*Make sure rice porridge is cool down, less than 50 to 60 degree.

Use “warm” function to keep the temperature around 50 – 60 degree.
Depend on the rice cooker you have, but it is better not to put lid perfectly.
Need some space to avoid having high temperature.
(I put cloth for not coming dust into the ama koji)

then wait 6-10 hours.
(If possible, it is better to mix few times)


Rice porridge changed to sweet Ama koji!!
Very sweet, but very gentle sweetness.
Rice changed to glucose now. Easy to digest. Gentle to body.

Please store in the fridge. It keeps fermenting and taste change, too.
I normally consume within 1 week.