Koji/ Sake-Kasu Workshop Report
October 30, 2019
We hosted a special Japanese fermentation workshop for two days on 10/16 and 1/17. It was titled Japanese Koji/ Sake-Kasu Workshop, and we had guest instructors, Mr. Nakaji Minami Tomoyuki and Ms. Yoko Maeda Lamn.
Nakaji is a master of koji fermentation and the founder of Koji Academy in Japan. He flew all the way from Japan to offer fermentation workshops in several cities in Canada and US this time. Yoko is based in LA and is the founder of Hakko. As a Koji Academy certified Koji instructor, Yoko hosts Koji & fermentation workshops locally.
In the class, Nakaji and Yoko guided the guests through the world of koji fermentation. Koji is a type of mold and the mother of many essential Japanese food and drinks, such as soy sauce, miso, mirin, rice vinegar, sake, amazake etc. Koji is also known for many health benefits as it’s probiotic and full of beneficial amino acids. Koji fermented foods/ drinks are rich in umami flavors.
The class also focused on sake-kasu, which is a byproduct of the production of sake. Sake-kasu are the lees left over from the fermentation of sake. Sake-kasu is also rich in flavor and full of health benefits. It’s a popular traditional ingredient in Japanese cooking. Sake-kasu is also often used in cosmetic products as it’s considered to give beneficial effects to the skin.
The lecture was followed by the cooking demonstration. I made six dishes and most of them are made with sake-kasu! We used different kinds of sake-kasu from different producers to showcase the variety and versatility of sake-kasu.
We couldn’t take photos of all the dishes, but hopefully we can introduce them in our recipe page in the future. Here is the menu.
Sake-Kasu & Creme Fraiche Stuffed Dates
Mamina Sune (Okinawa’s traditional mung beansprouts with sake-kasu seasoning)
Sake-Kasu Shira-Ae (Vegetables in Tofu & Sake-Kasu Cream)
Sake-Kasu Nabe (Hot pot of seafood and vegetables in sake-kasu broth)
Kashiwa Meshi (Chicken and Vegetable Rice, Kyushu Island style)
Sake-Kasu Pound Cake
Our guests enjoyed the dinner with sake, of course! So, the night was really full of koji flavors with many donabe dishes.
Happy donabe life.