This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

A Big Year for… Koji


EVERY FEW DAYS, David Zilber, the fermentation sous chef at Noma in Copenhagen, walks into one of the shipping containers that serves as his lab and peers into a tray of moldering barley. It looks, with its coating of fuzz, like something you might find growing at the back of your refrigerator. “It’s koji,” he explains with pride. “And it’s a game changer.”

Used for millennia in Japan and China to ferment foods and drinks, koji is a fungus—proper name Aspergillus oryzae— commonly grown on cooked grains. If you’ve ever eaten soy sauce, or sipped a bowl of miso, you’ve tasted the effects of koji: It gives those foods their punch of umami flavor, and also acts as the fermenting agent in alcoholic drinks such as sake and shaojiu. Now it’s working its way onto Western menus, in ways no sake master could have imagined.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Newsweek International - 6th January 2017
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 6th January 2017
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 0.67 per issue
Or 3399 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 0.94 per issue
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Newsweek International

Scientists in Britain are using revolutionary gene-editing technology to alter the future of humanity.