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Easy Japanese Recipes
Koji Making
"Seikiku"

 Long Ago
"Koji" was made in a special high-temperature, high-humidity room called a "muro" ("koji" culture room). To make good-quality "koji" mold propagate evenly, continuous work was done to strike the lids, to mix the batch again thereby reducing variations in temperature and moisture content ("naka-shigoto") and to move and rotate trays (a very elegant dance to watch when done by an experienced worker) in two- or three-hour intervals; the transfer of "koji" was performed twice. The photograph illustrates the state of working steamed rice spread out on the floor to make "koji" mold evenly stick to the steamed rice. Even today, hand-made "Dai Ginjo 'Sake'" is made in the same way.
The state of working steamed
rice on the floor

 Today
Steamed rice that is sprinkled with spores of the "koji" mold is put into a "koji-making" machine, and is taken out as "koji" after about 38 hours. The temperature of the steamed rice is controlled to be 38 degrees C (100 degrees F) by automatic control.
The inside of a "koji-making"
machine.

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