The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo, will present “Koji Crafting” in the Garden Room on Sunday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Demonstration ($20) from 10 to 11 a.m.; hands-on class ($95) from 1 to 3 p.m.

For centuries, Japanese cuisine has been dependent on a specific mold to produce miso, shoyu (soy sauce), and sake. This mold has a very formal name, Aspergillus oryzae, but to us, it’s simply called koji. Western chefs have finally discovered what Eastern chefs have already known — koji makes everything it touches taste delicious.

The demo will cover shio (salt) koji and a spicy shoyu koji, both super-simple marinades that are excellent on vegetables, meats, seafood or even tofu. Next you’ll learn all about amazaké, a non-alcoholic sweet sake drink that’s thick and creamy, and a simple overnight koji pickle that tastes amazing. There will be plenty of tastings and a handout filled with instructions and recipes.

In the hands-on class, you’ll make shio koji and spicy shoyu (soy sauce) koji; amazaké, which can be flavored with ginger, pureed berries or even chocolate; and koji pickle —  you’ll be sent home with a batch to ferment overnight.

Instructor Yoko Maeda Lamn is a Los Angeles County-certified master food preserver and an instructor at the Institute of Domestic Technology.

This class is a collaboration between the JACCC and the Institute of Domestic Technology.

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