Amazaké & Ama-koji Sweet Koji
Natural sweetener rich in enzymes
Amazaké literally means "sweet sake." It is a thick, creamy natural beverage. Cooked mochi rice is combined with koji and left to incubate for several hours to produce a fermented food that is rich in enzymes. The enzyme amylases breaks down the complex
starches into easily-digestible simple sugars. Even though amazaké contains the word "saké" it is non-alcoholic.
Nowadays, amazaké is enjoyed as a warm beverage during winter, often topped with grated ginger. However, during the Edo period, amazaké was enjoyed in the summer. In fact, when the word "amazaké" occurs in haiku from that period, it signals summer. Children often drank amazaké in the summer to promote good health. Amazaké is good for increasing energy during the hot, summer season. Ama-koji is the base of amazaké. It is creamier and thicker than amazaké.
Ama-koji is diluted with an equal amount of water to make amazaké. It is also used in making pickles and as a sweetener in cooking. Ama-koji aids in the leavening process and bread baked using ama-koji is chewy and has a natural sweetness.
Both ama-koji and amazaké can be used in place of sugar in many recipes. Please see our recipe pages for ways to use ama-koji and amazaké in your everyday cooking.