Koji is a mold that humans have used for thousands of years to produce foods such as soy sauce, miso, sake, gochujang, and literally dozens of others of foods, all marked by their savory, umami-rich flavors. In Koji Alchemy, two koji-obsessed cooks explore and expand upon traditional knowledge of koji fermentation to address its application to non-traditional ingredients and processes.
Rich Shih, renowned for his koji workshops, and Jeremy Umansky, a Cleveland chef and James Beard Award-nominee, provide accessible but technically detailed coverage of the use of koji. And although koji-fermentation itself is fundamentally a process of slow change, they also demonstrate how koji can be applied for nearly immediate results by incorporating it into pastes and sauces beyond shoyu and miso.
To be frank, this is a book for fermentation geeks who will thrill to the sight of headlines such as "spore dispersal instructions," "mason jar containment," "playing with surface area," and "a neat way to address inadvertent alcohol buildup."
There are chapters addressing the creation of alcohol and vinegar, aging meat and curing charcuterie, working with dairy, eggs, and vegetables, and even the use of koji in sweet applications and baking. Among the appendices are one covering food safety and another providing a HACCP plan for dry-cured animal foods. Impressive and practical.
Hardcover. Color inserts; charts; b-&-w drawings.