Sake Social
The largest online retailer of Japanese sake since 2010
Browse All Sakes Sake Collections Sake Blog Sake 101 Search Your Cart (0)
Need promo code?
The largest online retailer of Japanese sake

I want a Sake to pair with

this is,

, that's best served

, and i want to spend


Item has been added to your cart, View Cart
Sorry , we do not have that amount in stock, View other items...

What is koji - really?

Posted by Marc Smookler

Confused about the word koji? Is it the mold or is it the molded rice?


When speaking about the actual mold (Aspergillus Oryzae) you would say the word "koji-kin" - this is the yellow mold that influences flavor and aroma in most sakes and is responsible for breaking the starch molecules into glucose. The steamed rice that gets "sprinkled" with this mold (usually from cans with small holes or mesh) is called "koji" or "koji-mai." So when speaking specifically about "koji" you are talking about the inoculated rice itself. 


(On a side note Koji-Kin has a nickname in the brewing industry - "moyashi" which is the Japanese name for bean sprouts. Huh? Yes if you look through a microscope the mold looks like bean sprouts or mushrooms. And without question - if you tour a brewery - nine out of ten times you will see a photo of microscopic "koji-kin" looking very much like a large sprout on the wall somewhere.) 

Posted in blog about sake, brewing, koji, sake brewing, sake ingredients, sake label, sake selection, sake social, sakesocial, treatment



Need help purchasing sake?

Select either one of our starter kits, or join our sake of the month club and get hand picked brews delivered monthly at a discount.

Recent Articles