Another name for koji, rice koji is the end result that comes from fermenting rice with koji-kin and sea salt. Rice koji is a versatile base that can be used to produce a number of traditional Japanese and health foods. If you are deterred or unsettled by the idea of consuming fermented foods, the fact of the matter is that you’ve probably already tried it. Miso soup is made by using rice koji base with added soybeans. Additionally, both cheese and alcohol both result from the fermentation process, so you know that good things often come in fermented forms.
There are two main reasons you should include rice koji in your regular diet: flavor and health. Rice koji, in any of its forms, can enhance the flavor of your food. Whether you use red miso paste to enhance the umami flavor of your soup, or shio koji to tenderize your meat, you are using rice koji to improve the taste of your food.
However, the more important reason to use rice koji in your everyday cooking is to improve your health. As a result of the fermentation process, rice koji is full of probiotics that aid in digestion. These naturally occurring bacteria line your stomach and help break down food and absorb nutrients. They also strengthen your immune system by acclimating your body to the presence of bacteria. When rice koji is added to soybeans to create miso, studies have shown it has cancer reducing properties.
Finding the time to cook and serve a delicious, nutritious meal can feel like a fool’s errand. With a busy schedule and a busy life, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health for taste and taste for time. That’s why we created a list of our favorite recipes to keep you healthy, even when time is short.