Sunday with Friends


Sunday February 21 Zoom Event (Click for call)
Meeting ID: 287 521 6492
Passcode: FC1

Please join our mailing list for $1.00 using the button so we don’t have to pay big bucks managing our mailing lists. Otherwise write us at kojiandpickles@gmail.com

February 21, 2021– Click to Register

A discussion of African spice blends and cultures as interpreted by the diaspora of Africans throughout the world, the creation of Caribbean and Creole food and basically all Southern Cooking, and more. Hearth baked and prison and slave bread and Western kenyan fermented milk and ash.

A simply amazing array of applications of koji to regional African resources including Eland and Wildebeest, interpretations of standards like koji-cured bacon and koji cured bresaola, along with some unique experiments using koji to create new flavors and textures in meats and drinks by Sacha Wilson, some unique recipe demonstrations, and a Gullah-Geechee story and a Hoppin’ John recipe from Ebonee-McCorvey.

Making Mopane Garum and a discussion of the context in which it is made including a history of family hunger during which termites and other insects – actually, a delicacy – were eaten during hungry times by Anja de Klerk.


The videos are broadcast at Vimeo.com/culturesgroup. Please make sure to be a verified Vimeo user. Otherwise, you will not be able to view the videos for any event.


March Madness

These 3 events of #FermentsandCultures2021 offer presentations on making shio-koji, using koji as an agent to create foods from otherwise wasted food sources, African spice blends and cultures of the diaspora of Africans throughout the world, the creation of Caribbean and Creole food, Asian fermentation techniques using Corn, Squash, Rice, Nuts or Roots for vegetable fermentation, drinks, baked goods, misos and pickles.


February 21 – 12 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern Time – Diaspora of Africa. $10 for event plus video viewing. All 3 events are no fee for presenters. $45 for all 3 for non-presenters and volunteers.

Use the pulldown! Here: paypal.me/FermentsandCultures


Dent Corn Koji

March 21, 2021 – Tonics and Ferments 10 AM to 12 PM ET – 5 minute videos in our Vimeo library viewable for months by registrants, and a live event at time above. Vegetable ferments. Restorative Tonics. Sacred Beers. Meads. Shio-Koji. Dashi. Bone broths. Shoyuzuke. Medicinal brews. Doboroku. Foraged rescue remedies. Fire tonic. Miso soups. Mushrooms. Cultural histories. Lactofermented brines. Amasaje. Shrubs. Seaweed salad. Tree bark water kefir. Fresh Cheese. Vinegar. Chocolate. Filamentous Fungus. Amino Pastes. Jiangs. Tea. Kombucha.Jun. Things to spiritually and emotionally and physically propel you from the winter into Spring!


If you’d like to present at any of these events, or would like to have your business, book, restaurant, webpage, classes or yourself listed let us know. right away!


• April 11, 2021 – 10 AM to 12 PM ET – Corn, Squash, Rice, Nuts and Root VegetablesAsian Techniques to make Tempe, Misos, Amino Pastes, Drinks, Fish or Meat Marinades, Sauces, Sake, Rice wine, Shio-koji, Jangs, Bokashi, and baked goods.


$45 for all 3 events including Zoom meeting and associated videos, or see pull down menu. Use paypal.me/FermentsandCultures Contact us at kojiandpickles@gmail.com to discuss presentations, videos, interviews, talks you would like to create, or to become an intern or volunteer. We are actively soliciting input from people worldwide to share one or more videos for these sessions.


Each event has a live Zoom event at the following time and dates, Eastern Standard. All videos are always at Vimeo.com/culturesgroup Some may be in a specific showcase, either visible or hidden to anyone without the passcode to get in. Our videos are always password protected. You must have both the showcase address, and the passcode for a specific event.


Spring, Asia, Africa

Vegetable ferments. Restorative Tonics. Sacred Beers. Meads. Shio-Koji. Dashi. Bone broths. Shoyuzuke. Medicinal brews. Doboroku. Foraged rescue remedies. Fire tonic. Miso soups. Mushrooms. Garums. Cultural histories. Lactofermented brines. Amasake. Shrubs. Seaweeds. Tree bark water kefir. Fresh Cheese.

Vinegar. Chocolate. Filamentous Fungus. Amino Pastes. Jiangs. Tea. Kombucha. Jun. Things to spiritually and emotionally and physically propel you from the winter into Spring! Corn. Koji. Buckwheat rejuvelac. Tempe. Amino Pastes. Shoes. Sake. Rice wine. Jangs. Bokashi. Sourdough. Sweets.

Sacha Wilson‘s Koji cured Bresaola

These 3 events of #FermentsandCultures2021 offer presentations on the above – hopefully! – and also making shio-koji, using koji as an agent to create foods from otherwise wasted food sources, African spice blends and cultures of the diaspora of Africans throughout the world, the creation of Caribbean and Creole food, Asian fermentation techniques using Corn, Squash, Rice, Nuts or Roots for vegetable fermentation, drinks, baked goods, misos and pickles.


February 21 – 12 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern Time – Diaspora of Africa

Ebonee McCorvey and Family bringing the Gullah-Geechee real

A discussion of African spice blends and cultures as interpreted by the diaspora of Africans throughout the world, the creation of Caribbean and Creole food and basically all Southern Cooking, and more

$10 Fee. All 3 events are no fee for presenters. Use the pulldown! Here: paypal.me/FermentsandCultures


February 21 – 12 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern Time – Diaspora of Africa with


All events are priced differently but $45 for these 3 events includes the Zoom meetings and viewing of associated event videos until May 2021. Videos are only available on Vimeo in secured showcases that require addresses and passcodes to find and view. Please use: paypal.me/FermentsandCultures


March 21, 2021 – Tonics and Ferments 10 AM to 12 PM ET – 5 minute videos in our Vimeo library viewable for months by registrants, and a live event at time above. Vegetable ferments. Restorative Tonics. Sacred Beers. Meads. Shio-Koji. Dashi. Bone broths. Shoyuzuke. Medicinal brews. Doboroku. Foraged rescue remedies. Fire tonic. Miso soups. Mushrooms. Cultural histories. Lactofermented brines. Amasaje. Shrubs. Seaweed salad. Tree bark water kefir. Fresh Cheese. Vinegar. Chocolate. Filamentous Fungus. Amino Pastes. Jiangs. Tea. Kombucha.Jun. Things to spiritually and emotionally and physically propel you from the winter into Spring!


If you’d like to present at any of these events, or would like to have your business, book, restaurant, webpage, classes or yourself listed let us know. right away!


Corn with A.sojae
Corn with A. sojae for all corn shoyu

• April 11, 2021 – 10 AM to 12 PM ET – Corn, Squash, Rice, Nuts and Root VegetablesAsian Techniques to make Tempe, Misos, Amino Pastes, Drinks, Fish or Meat Marinades, Sauces, Sake, Rice wine, Shio-koji, Jangs, Bokashi, and baked goods.


$45 for all 3 events including Zoom meeting and associated videos, or see pull down menu. Use paypal.me/FermentsandCultures Contact us at kojiandpickles@gmail.com to discuss presentations, videos, interviews, talks you would like to create, or to become an intern or volunteer. We are actively soliciting input from people worldwide to share one or more videos for these sessions.


Each event has a live Zoom event at the following time and dates, Eastern Standard. All videos are always at Vimeo.com/culturesgroup Some may be in a specific showcase, either visible or hidden to anyone without the passcode to get in. Our videos are always password protected. You must have both the showcase address, and the passcode for a specific event.


Making Koji Flour, Controlling Water

We have thousands of videos we want to share and hundreds of thousands of videos, but to what end? Information changes so quickly that trying to keep up with it prevents people from learning from each other, let alone even listening.

So, we’re going through them all and only posting the ones we think are useful now and in the next year at the very least.

If you have a specific question after you watch one of our videos or read one of our posts, please ask. We will distill your questions into compact, easy to understand posts and videos as best we can.

This video is about the role of water in chemical and other enzymatic reactions. In other words, knowing how to manipulate the water content of food on a macro or very microscopic level is the key to preserving food, fermenting food, cooking food or just preparing it to ingest it.

Hopefully, the videos will help you to see how we apply our knowledge of both science and cooking to create great tasting foods and beverages. The only thing you won’t learn about here is how to buy something we make or write.

Check out these new videos!

Contact through the following means, or join our MeetUp or Facebook group.

Truffle Fritters


Truffle flecked chicken fritter.
A light colored seitan (wheat meat or plant protein) – don’t stew it in soy sauce – also works incredibly well in this recipe.

  • 1 1/2 pounds or 680 grams boneless chickens thighs or breasts cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup or 112 grams truffle shio-koji (or mince a truffle or dried mushroom into shio-koji)

Marinate the chicken in the truffle shio-koji for two hours. Add the ingredients below to the chicke and marinate again for 2 hours.


In the meantime we started wilting spinach – use whatever greens, including alfalfa and corn sprouts, that you have – with a tablespoon of very finely minced preserved lemon to serve with the fritters. You don’t need oil for this salad if serving with the fritters.

  • 3/4 cup or 118 grams sake
  • 1 egg or 56 grams

Chicken bathing in sake and truffle shio-koji

Rub the sake and egg into the chicken, blending it together with the truffle shio-koji. Marinate for another hour. Wipe off the chicken as best as you can into the bowl with marinade. Try to save ever last drop of the marinade.


  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup or 184 grams all purpose flour or corn flour
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • Oil for frying (about 4 cups)

Mix the baking powder, salt, and flour together. Add to the reserved marinade. It will be pretty thick at this point. Dip the chicken pieces in this and let them sit for as long as you like in the fridge. Or fry immediately. Try and get batter on each piece of chicken as you slide it into the heated oil.

Add the chicken a piece at a time while turning up the heat for just a few seconds until you get half of the chicken in the oil. You need to make this in two batches (or cut the recipe in half). After the first batch skim the oil well, removing any browned bits.



Make sure the pieces are not sticking to the pan. Shake the pan very gently or give them a little push with your tongs or chop sticks

These will cook and brown very fast so turn them over after two minutes at medium high heat. Then let them fry for another 2 minutes at best. Remove from the oil and let drain if you don’t serve them right away on a bowl of rice or another grain or mashed celery root (celeriac).

I typically have a second pan waiting to heat the oil up for a second batch, after I strain the oil through a very fine mesh strainer.


Fine Mesh Oil Skimmer/Strainer. Also works very well to strain gallons of tea made with loose leaves, or even a soy sauce or shoyu after a first bulk straining.

If you don’t serve this right away, or eat it all chill it overnight in the fridge and eat it cold with a truffle oil mayonnaise, or a simple mild vinegar based vinaigrette.

This is also a great way to make a fast chicken parmiggiano. Place whatever type of cheeses you like over the chicken – truffled cheese, mozzarella, parmesan or even Gruyere or Emmental heat in a 400F oven for 15 minutes.

Also, if you don’t have truffles or mushrooms, shred some perilla or shiso leaves into the shio koji before adding the sake and egg. You could also use milk kefir, buttermilk, chicken stock or cold miso soup instead of the sake. You could also use a light colored seitan or other plant protein – just don’t stew it in soy sauce – instead of the chicken.


Cooking Parts – Baking and Donut Math

Doughnut Math

Remove 1 part and this is a doughnut. Do the math.

Muffin math first, though. In part I we made muffins and tea cakes based on the math that the doughnuts, popovers, tea breads, waffles, fritters, muffins and pancakes are based on. When you see how removing 1 part from the recipe will get you some amazing apple cider donuts or cruellers, you realize how important this is. And the popovers into cream puffs with chocolate icng trick. Read on.

220 grams (around 1 3/4 cups flour) is 200% or 2 parts of the recipe. That means that one part for this recipe and any recipe in this group requires 110 grams of something. You really need a scale, but we provided approximate volume amounts.

For 6 muffins and a a small tea cake that’s okay. But if you were making 60 of these in a professional bakery being off by 200 grams of any ingredient would really matter.

For muffins and tea breads the ratio is always 2 parts flour to 2 parts liquid. So if you have 220 grams ( 2 parts) you need 220 grams (2 parts) of liquid. In this case we used yogurt. That counts as a liquid ingredient. It happened to be a cup of yogurt that weighed 220 grams.

Any muffin or quick bread has another ratio. You need 1 part egg and 1 part fat. Now you could use bacon fat for a savory muffin that everyone would love you for, or shmaltz in a mushroom muffin, or melted butter in a peach and caramelized almond muffin, but it has to weigh 110 grams. That is what we said 1 part weighs.

So, you need 110 grams of eggs. Good thing that 2 large eggs almost always weighs 110 grams. Don’t sweat about 10 to 20 grams over or under for such a small batch of muffins. It’s close enough.

Now, as for the salt and baking powder (and 1 tsp of baking soda because we used yogurt) this recipe calls for 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 tsp of baking powder. I always use 1 TB of baking powder because I usually have a lot of add ins, but the 1 tsp of soda that interacted wit the yogurt made up for the rising ability of that other teaspoon of baking powder.

Depending on the add-in I can get away with up to 1/2 to 1 1/2 parts. In the recipe above the bananas were 1 part, the raisins one half part. Don’t fill the muffin tins more than 2/3 full. Extra batter could go into making two baby tea cakes. I threw some minced toasted brazil nuts I had lying around in those. So do you want to make waffles and pancakes, fritters, doughnuts or popovers next?

Cooking Parts – Baking

Let’s say you didn’t grow up in a family that loved to bake. I did. Or even steam fermented doughs or buns made with some type of wild yeast or active ferment. Ditto. It was a very complicated multiple cultures and ethnicities thing.

Everything almost always goes back to that triangle of the Chinese, Arab and Indian people thousands and thousands of years ago. When they migrated outward they brought with them things that the people of their new homelands turned into unique and amazing things using ingredients and techniques associated with those countries or people and their terroir or climate.

In the history of fermentation the development of a way to grind up grains into flour on a large practical scale shifted the almost universal use of rice and millet as the basis of all fermentations to wheat.

Barley was pretty much sprouted to make sugar or malt when the natural amylase enzymes that break down the starches in things like grains and beans once activated. Typically, barley doesn’t contain enough gluten to make anything but softer, cake type things. You could add a little ground barley flour to anything you bake, but almost every all purpose flour on the market already contains sprouted barley flour.

The items listed are pretty much all the same recipe with very minor variations. The difference between a tea cake and a muffin is really just container you bake it in. Got leftover pancake batter? Add a little more fat such as butter or oil and some fruit or cheese or vegetables to make a sweet or savory tea cake or muffin.



Then again, have any leftover fritter batter. The batter to make fritters is waffle or pancake batter without fat. The more fat contained in something you fry, the fattier it will be, so a great fritter shouldn’t have any fat in it. Likewise, with doughnuts. Had to tell the difference between those two except for the shape.

Doughnuts are usually just fritter batter with some type of leavening like baking powder or maybe yeast. With doughnuts with added ingredients like applesauce you might want to reduce the liquid amount. Add the apples to the liquid and weigh it. The important thing is that you maintain the basic recipe ratios..

Popovers are the item here that usually doesn’t contain any leavening other than egg. The fat that they are cooked in is usually a great source of flavor. Yorkshire Pudding are popovers that use the caramelized drippings and beef fat from roast beef.

To a professional Chef or Baker the goal is maintain the ratio of flour to water. Or Starch to liquid. Then you add small amounts of other ingredients, but always in what are called baker’s percentages. If you use baker’s percentages you just really need to know the weight of any ingredient you want to add.

When making bread, the flour is the cornerstone of bakers percentages. You can do the same with quick breads, which are basically breads without yeast. But right know I need to make muffins.

I need to make muffins (but not these this time) for breakfast. So I have a few items I want to use up. Some yogurt, some dried out raisins, toasted hazelnut oil, over ripe bananas that I could easily make into vinegar but I need muffins now. Part II coming up.

Muffins and a Little Tea Bread



  • 1 3/4 cup or 220 grams flour (100% AP or 165 grams AP and 55 grams sorghum)
  • 1/2 cup or 110 grams organic dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

If using salt instead of shio koji mix in with the above ingredients. The idea to is to blend them together very well so it will be easier to very quickly mix in the liquid ingredients.

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup ( yogurt or nut, cow, rice or soy milk) or 220 grams
  • 2 eggs or 110 grams eggs
  • 3/5 cup or 110 grams toasted hazelnut oil (or any oil)
  • 4 ounces or 110 grams or 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 2 TB shio-koji or 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup or 55 grams plumped raisins

Mix the liquid ingredients together very well. Then, dump the dry ingredients on top of the wet ones and mix gently until they just come together. You can start mixing, then wait ten seconds, then start mixing then wait another ten seconds to allow everything to be absorbed.

Do not whip or beat the ingredients. Use your biscuit hand! What does that mean? Gently mix ingredients slowly so as not to create heat nor gluten. Always best to do this is a colder area when possible. Some people like to chill their wet ingredients.



Irish Soda Bread with Walnuts



  • 2 cups or 300 grams malted bread flour (or AP flour with barley)
  • 2 TB or 26 grams shio koji (or 2 TB sweet miso or 1 TB salt)
  • 3/4 cup or 75 grams raisins
  • 1 cup or 275 grams milk kefir (or acid whey, whey or buttermilk)
  • 1/2 cup or 130 grams water

Raisins and flour fermenting in milk kefir with shio-koji.

Mix everything together well. It will be like a thick pancake batter. Refrigerate overnight or several days. Remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Knead in the walnut flour, walnuts and brown sugar, then the baking soda and powder.



  • 1 cup or 75 grams roasted, finely chopped walnuts (or more flour or another nut)
  • 1 cup or 150 grams walnut flour (or bread or all purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup or 75 grams light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp or 16 grams baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder (optional, unless you are the unsure type)

Preheat oven to 375F. Plop the dough into the greased pan. Let it sit for a few minutes. Loosely score the top of the bread – if you can, others ignore it – in quarters and make one round loaf that you bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Check after 25 minutes with a digital probe or toothpick (200 F internal). Or, fill 24 muffin cups 1/2 full and bake 20 – 25 minutes.



Cultured Orange Cake


Remove the peel from the oranges with a vegetable peeler and blend with the rest of the orange when making the cake. This will ensure better distribution of orange (or whatever citrus) flavor you choose.

We made this cake first with chopped up whole oranges with peel removed for better distribution made like betterazuke pickles. Those are the type of pickles usually layered with a whole lot of salt, sugar and koji. They are often aged for a long time. Let us know if you want to do that.

Otherwise, a hack just requires some pre-made rice koji. An even easier all purpose hack is bto use kasu (the dregs from making doboroku or sake) with salt.

The easiest thing of all would be to just use your favorite sake or liquid shio koji.

Whatever you decide to do, this is a really tasty, versatile and easy to make pound cake like treat with just a blender.



Ingredients
  • 450 grams or 16 ounces cultured butter
  • 2 TB shio-koji (salt koji or liquid shio koji)
  • 294 grams or 2 cups organic coconut palm sugar
  • 3 extra large or 200 grams of eggs
  • 420 grams or 1 to 2 navel oranges, pureed.
  • 1 TB lemon, orange, or vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 486 grams or 3 cups flour


Liquid shio-koji can now be purchased online or from many Asian grocery stores. Our friends at The Japanese Pantry and at MTC Kitchen also sell it (and lots of other really cool ingredients). Check out your local Sunrise Mart near Brooklyn Kura if you are in the area.

There is really no difference between liquid shio-koji and the pastier version except for perhaps salt content and a little water. You can blend your butter with liquid shio koji and let it ferment for days or weeks in the refrigerator. You can do the same with the oranges, as we did for four weeks.

Let them ferment for as long as you like. Or not. It’s all good. You can also blend rice koji with water until a paste forms. Add more water and some salt and you have shio-koji. Keep it at 135F for 6 hours and you have the same exact shio-koji that people take weeks to make. The enzymatic activity is the same.

The salt reduces the amylase enzymes that digest sugar and increases the protease enzymes that like proteins. But it will still be a fleetingly sweet and savory marinade and all purpose condiment.

Again, you can always just take out your blender and make a thick paste of the wet ingredients and blend into the flour mix. Simplest, best cake ever.


Icing

The icing for this was originally made by creating an amasake type paste using tapioca starch and Aspergillus oryzae (koji) grown out on orange peels. Perhaps this is a new technique to you.


Orange and shio-koji and tapioca sugar icing

As I described this was recreated from the notes from researchers working with spent coffee grinds, cassava peels, fruit waste, peanuts, wheat bran, soybeans, ad other things that were of enormous interest then and now.

By then I mean in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We will be publishing a whole lot more on these things with recipes using a wide range of Aspergillus types as well as other filamentous fungus (like the ones used to make tempeh) we’ve been making since the 1970s.

Here is a really easy and very tasty way to make this very quickly just like your grandma did back then. We just finished filming a series of videos about making and using shio koji or salted rice koji, but you could also follow the old school way we describe here that most people still think is the way to make shio koji or just buy some from one of the many online or retail outlets that sell it. Either the liquid shiio-koji or the paste works as well.


Ingredients
  • 2 TB fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 cups or 56 grams confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp teaspoon liquid shio-koji
  • More confectioner’s sugar as desired if you want it thicker)

Whisk everything together really well. Either serve on the side of the cake when the cake is completely cooled down on a towel, or drizzle over the cake.

Blend together the pureed orange and egg base with the flour and soda. Bake at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake sit outside the oven for at least 30 minutes before removing from the pans. Let cool completely before icing. The icing is not required – you could just dust it with confectioner’s sugar – but it’s sweetness coupled with the orange zest and juice brings out layers of flavor in the cake.


Either drizzle the icing on the cooled cake, or serve on the side. You can add more citrus juice to the icing and let it soak in as well, but this cake is not at all sweet despite two cups of organic coconut palm sugar.

Shio Koji (salt koji)


Shio koji can be kept in an air lock sealed jar but we prefer the refrigerator unless we are aging it. When aging shio koji we typically add some alcohol. We will have some quick pickles made with shio koji at Monday’s event.

  • 300 grams of koji (rice, barley, corn, wheat, etc.)
  • 100 grams of coarse salt
  • 400 grams of water

As you can see the golden rule of shio-koji making is a 3:1:4 ratio. You should try to make the salt equal 12.5% of the total weight of your shio-koji. By weight, not by volume.

The salt percentage of any shio-koji should be between 12 and 15%, but never exceed 15% or go below 7%. There are yeasts and microbes that can still live in a 7% salt solution. Over 15% and protease and other enzymes are denatured. You could still use it as a seasoning though.

If you are using 300 grams of koji, you massage that with 100 grams of salt. Just like when making miso you should always massage your koji and salt.


Quick pickles made with shio koji

If you wait an hour you will see a dramatic change. The temperature may even rise. That means your koji has active enzymes.

You can make this in a blender – our preference – but remember that any time you expose koji to mechanical action it will produce heat. Don’t make a lot at once, and chill your Vitamix or blender first.

After grinding or massaging the salt and koji add the water. You add 400 grams of water, cover tightly and place in a dark place for this recipe. Shake every day for 10 to 14 days.

Store in refrigeraor or at room temperature under air lock. Don’t make too much at a time, as it will become infected with wild yeasts and bacteria if you keep opening and closing the container.



When using shio koji to replace salt you should use 2 to 3 tsp to replace a tsp of salt.

A tablespoon of shio koji per pound of fish or meat to marinate for 15 minutes is enough. Usually 10 to 15% of the weight of whatever you are using the shio koji on will suffice.

There is sugar in shio koji so careful when you cook it. Wipe the shio koji off if you like. It’s excellent in baked goods.