Koji: the (fungi)culture behind Asian Ferments

Zuursalon with: Jasper Swierstra, Alice de Jong, Simon Hofstra and Meneer Wateetons

11 Nov 2016

In Mediamatic’s Bio Clean Lab we use fungus to grow new bio-materials, but in many food production systems molds are used to re-design ingredients and alter flavours. The Koji, or Aspergillus oryzae, is a filamentous fungus responsible for many of the alterations in the Chinese and East Asian cuisine. It is used in the fermentation of miso, mirin, sake and soy sauce and enables the the creation of the typical ’umami’ flavour. What is the science behind this process? And how can we apply the umami taste to our own food?

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still from moyashimon - Moyashimon is a animation series starting many micro-organisms. One of the main fungis is Oryzae! Better known as aspergillus oryzae. Moyashimon (JP)

Simon Hofstra - Taste of Sake

Simon is the owner of Taste of Sake and carries the Japanese title 'Sake Samurai'. As a sommelier in a Japanese Michelin star-restaurant he came in touch with real Japanese sake. Ever since 1998 he tries to make the world familiar with the sophisticated world of sake. He will teach us how sake is made. And he will make us taste some nice sake.

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People tasting Sake with cheese - During Simon Hofstra's talk people were given sparkling sake, and then cheese, to taste how the two flavors can combine together. Anisa Xhomaqi

Jasper Swierstra

When it comes to molds and food, most people immediately think of the green fluff that grows on your forgotten sandwiches. But this and many other molds are often also beneficial for your foods and beverages. Microbiologist Jasper Swierstra (PhD candidate at Erasmus MC) will tackle common questions like: What is the difference between yeasts and fungus? How to distinguish the good from the bad micro-organisms? Is there a way for to differentiate between different types of molds? And ofcourse how and why they grow.

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Jasper Swierstra at Zuursalon:Koji edition - Microbiologist Jasper Swierstra (PhD candidate at Erasmus MC) explaining basics about fungi, yeast, mold and other organisms. Anisa Xhomaqi

Alice de Jong

Alice will show us ancient writings that reveal the true origin of miso and soy sauce. Also she will tell what koji was used for in the Chinese history.

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Alice de Jong at Zuursalon: Koji edition - Alice de Jong showed us ancient writings that reveal the true origin of miso and soy sauce. Also she told what koji was used for in the Chinese history. Anisa Xhomaqi

Meneer Wateetons

Meneer Wateetons is the curator of Zuursalon and the host of the evening. He will tel us about the possibilities of Koji and how to work with it at home. He will bring some of his own products made with Koji from home and make the audience smell and taste it.

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Meneer Wateetons showing how to use koji - Meneer Wateetons explaining the possibilities of Koji and how to work with it at home. Anisa Xhomaqi

Information
Zuursalon: Koji edition
Friday 11 November, 20:00
Tickets: Students €5,- / Pre-sale €7,50 / Door €10,-
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijspark 6, Amsterdam

Please note: this event is given in English.