Koji Alchemy book cover

Photo Source: Chelsea Green Publishing

Koji Alchemy: Rediscovering the Magic of Mold-Based Fermentation by Jeremy Umansky and Rich Shih

Chef Jeremy Umansky, owner of the acclaimed Larder deli and bakery in Cleveland, Ohio, has been aging meat and curing food with koji for years. Likewise, co-author Rich Shih has extensive food preservation experience and is Exhibit Engineer for the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in New York City. In Koji Alchemy, the two preservations explorers demystify the science and techniques behind using koji to ferment and culture a wide variety of umami-rich foods from soy sauce and miso to sake, cheese, and charcuterie. They explain how to cultivate this fungus, Aspergillus oryzae, as well as how to harness it in applications such as speeding up the curing, brining, and aging of meat with improved flavor.

Koji Alchemy includes an introduction by celebrated fermentation expert Sandor Katz as well as 35 recipes for various ferments, pastes, and foods like Popcorn Koji, Roasted Entire Squash Miso, Korean Makgeolli, and Amazake Rye Bread. In this primer, both home cooks and professional chefs should find plenty of inspiration and all the information needed to create all kinds of new and interesting cultured preparations. Read more about Koji Alchemy here.

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