Growing Koji: The Magic Inside Soy Sauce and Tempeh

Growing Koji: The Magic Inside Soy Sauce and Tempeh

Koji is a type of mold often used in Japanese cuisine. It is responsible for miso, tempeh, soy sauce, mirin, amazake, rice wine vinegar and so much more. In this course, we will discuss how to propagate koji and use it to create some of your favorite foods. The class will cover the different types of koji, flavor development, co-fermentation, and the conditions necessary for each ferment. There will be a demonstration of koji propagation, and fermentation of vegetables, grains, and meat.


Entrepreneurs, home enthusiasts

Topics Include

  • What is koji?
    • History of koji discovery and use in production¬†
    • Common types of koji and koji production
  • Equipment
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing
    • Chemicals
    • Safety
    • Cleaning and sanitizing procedures
  • Preparation and fermentation
    • Temperature
    • Aeration
    • Moisture
    • Nutrients
    • Co-fermentation
  • Additives
    • Fining
    • Sulfites
  • Aging
  • Storage
  • Tasting

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the basic principles behind propagating koji.
  • Be familiar with common practices using koji to ferment vegetables, grains, and meat.
  • Understand the difference in sensory characteristics from different koji strains.
  • Know how to manage and age your koji ferment
  • Understand quality considerations.
Growing Koji: The Magic Inside Soy Sauce and Tempeh

College Options

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Level: Beginner

Lecture HoursLab or Activity HoursTotal

Delivery Options

Delivered in a classroom or lab setting.
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