Archives for posts with tag: Rice

The last batch of inoculated rice is in the incubator.

About half inoclated with Gem starter and half with Higuchi starter, 25 kilos of polished eco rice turned into about 22 kilos of koji.

It looks like I have a good supply for the rest of the year.

But not done yet!

Now for barley and rye koji. I’ve ordered 10 kilos each of slightly polished barley and rye from a local eco farmer who has a polishing machine which I’ll get next week.

I’ve finally run out of rice and starter for rice koji – 15 batches should be enough for the rest of the year. 





Koji ambrosia

First make amazake. Boil brown rice with no salt until soft and gooey. Add rice koji. Mix and keep warm, 50 – 60 degrees C for about 12 hours. The koji enzymes break the rice down – in particular, the starch into sugars. The result is the sweet pudding amazake. 

To make koji ambrosia add grated ginger, lemon peel, more liquid if neccessary, mix until smooth with a mixer and warm a little. 

The first time I tasted this was in Japan almost half a century ago. We sat in a circle on the floor and passed a bowl of warm spiced amazake around. I thought I must be in heaven and this the drink of the gods. 

I was hooked!

  

On the right is a koji I made a few days ago – rice koji starter on eco rice. On the left is the same rice substrate but using starter for barley koji instead. 

As I figured, it sporulated earlier, more profusely and with a much darker green color. It will make a darker miso with perhaps a stronger flavor, but I’ll have to make a couple parallel batches of miso to see and taste the resulting misos after another 2 years. 

Along with weeding, spreading compost and presowing seeds, I have to make a few more batches of miso. Today a batch of sweet white miso.

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Ready to ferment for six months.

After having been to the market the first day in Kobe, we eat the traditional japanese breakfast every day.

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It is healthy and delicious, typically consisting of rice, miso soup and pickles.

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The rice dish was already prepared by a nice market lady, so we just needed to warm it up. The pickles were sliced and fresh miso soup made with tofu, seaweed and green onions.

The kitchen is very nice, roomy and complete here at the Yume Nomad Hostel (which I highly recommend!)!

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The last batch of barley koji is in the incubator almost ready to be put out to dry.

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The koji season is coming to a close. The supply looks good. Enough for this years miso making and some koji to sell to other miso makers. (Note; there is an odd shadow discoloration in the middle of the following pict – should be whiter)

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And now the miso making season is started with a double cook of soy beans made into a two year rice miso and a two year barley miso.

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But first a little break from gardening, carpentry and food processing – tomorrow we get on the plane and head to Kyoto Japan for an immersion into Japanese culture.

Besides making miso and soy sauce you can use koji for making amazake and sake rice wine.

All you need is some rice koji, rice and a warm place. About half as much koji as rice.

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Cook the rice to the point where it has a mushy consistency. Let it cool, then mix in the rice koji. Add enough water to maintain the thin mushiness.

Now put it in a warm place for 8 hours. I put mine in the heat cabinet along with the koji that is in the process of growing. Instructions for making amazake recommend keeping the temperature at 55 degrees centigrade, but the 30 degrees I have works fine. It just takes a little longer.

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Taste it after 8 hours. If it is sweat enough, harvest. if not, let it continue to ferment in the heat for a few more hours or as long as necessary.

When it is done, you can heat it up to boiling point to stop the enzyme action (the amylaze is breaking down the starches of the rice into simple sugars) and keep in the refrigerater.

Amazake can be eaten as it is or used as a sweetener. You can use it in cookies, cakes, shakes, smoothies, puddings and much more.

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If you let it continue to ferment, wild yeasts will gradually turn the sugars into alcohol. After filtering out the solids you’ll have sake.

I prefer the sweet to the alcohol.

Step 4

The evening of the second day

I follow the same procedure as 12 hours ago, this morning – check temperature, mix air in and observe the conditions of growth. So far there is no difference in what the rice looks like, so no new picture (it would look like the one from this morning). The humidity seems right and there is no clumping. There is a slight change in odor indicating lactic acid fermentation in the rice which is OK.

Next step in another 12 hours.