Monthly Archives: June 2012

Traditional Japanese Natural UMAMI seasoning “Koji” work shop, July 8th

Ms. Myoho Asari will be holding a Japanese natural umami seasoning “Koji” workshop on July 8th from 6-8pm.  Here are the details!!!


Traditional Japanese Natural UMAMI seasoning “Koji” work shop

There is a little known and unsung hero of Japanese cooking. It is called koji.

Koji has long been an indispensable component used in the production
of soy sauce, miso, sake, vinegar, and mirin – all essential
ingredients used in Japanese cooking. Despite its central importance,
even Japanese people have been largely unaware of the role of koji in
their everyday diet.

Koji has become the latest hot commodity in Japan over the past year.
Many products have been introduced but there is little information on
how to choose a good product. Many are wondering how koji is made and
how to use it in their everyday cooking. We believe koji deserves a
permanent spot in your kitchen and rather than see this fad sizzle out
like so many others, we are arranging workshops that will demonstrate
why you should carve out a special spot in your refrigerator for this
special ingredient.

We have invited the proprietor of a koji-ya that has been handmaking
koji products for 320 years in Japan to come and speak in New York
City. Myoho Asari was born into the koji making business. She has been
steeped in the culture of koji (no pun intended) for many years and
will show you how to make koji part of your daily life as well. Mrs.
Asari will be giving a talk and demonstration on koji and how to cook
with it. Some will get some hands-on experience on how to make
shio-koji (Koji-salt) and everyone will get to try some food made with

Cooking with koji is easy. It adds flavor, umami and comes with a
variety of health benefits. Once you know the basics of how to use
koji, you will easily discover many other ways that you can use it in
your daily meals
. Once you taste it, you are sure to be hooked. Don’t
miss these two hours of koji fun!

When: July 8th (Sunday) 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Brooklyn photo (studio)

Admission: $50  *Admission will be collected atthe door. Cash only please.

Please sign up via email

About Mrs. Myoho Asari:
Mrs. Myoho Asari was born into the koji business and grew up to earn
the nickname “Koji-ya Woman.” Her koji-ya is in Oita prefecture, Saeki
City, in the south of Japan. It was established in 1689 and has been
producing koji for over 320 years. She is the mother of 3 sons and 2
daughters. She is dedicated to restoring koji to its rightfully
elevated place in the Japanese (and international) home kitchen. In
the spirit of making an old and respected tradition new and fresh, she
has created some easy to make recipes that she hopes will help spread
the word about this unsung hero of Japanese cooking. Many of her
recipes are available in her cookbook (Japanese only) and she also has
a website.



Natsuko Yamawaki’s Macrobiotic Mediterranean Cooking Class

In Natsuko-san’s cooking class we cooked a variety of mediterranean food such as hummus, falafel, couscous, tabouli, and seafood stew.  Natsuko-san explained how a lot of these foods are very cooling to the body so they are great to eat in the summer.

Natsuko-san used dried chickpeas and soaked them for the hummus and falafel.  I think this is one of the reasons why the hummus and falafel tasted better than the kind you find in stores.  We made hummus by adding all of the ingredients into the mixer. We made two different kinds of hummus, one plain and one with a roasted pepper.  Natsuko-san taught us how to roast a pepper directly on the stove which was so interesting to me.

We made lemon tahini sauce for the falafel.

The food came out great!  I think that it was particularly special because Natsuko-san incorporated some Japanese ingredients such as Ume-su (Plum Vinegar), konbu (Japanese dried Kelp) and Shio-koji (not sure how to translate).

Natsuko-san made us a delicious soy milk dessert with rose water and raspberry sauce.

Erika-chan seemed to really like it too…..

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