This is obviously just the start of a list we hope everyone will help fill out. We wanted to start out with resources we have spent our money on and have used ourselves. If we have been disappointed by the quality of something even after discussing an exchange or a refund with the seller, you won’t find it listed here. Please remember that this is just the start of a directory. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information to share.
Spores (for koji)
- Gem Cultures is one of the oldest US based company that sells a very wide range of spores and other cultures. They sell both pre-prepared spores (with rice flour added) as well as pure spores in larger quantity. They are listed first for a reason.
- Higuchi Moyashi offers just about any kind of spore you will ever need. They have a great English website as well, although like most high quality spores they are made in Japan.
- Organic-Cultures.com offers a great selection of spores with an informative website. Although most of their koji spores come from Japan, they are a US based company that we have always been very satisfied with. They sell other cultures as well we’ve used successfully.
- You can get koji spores almost overnight in the US through the Modernist Pantry – shirayuri is for white things that are sweet, shiragiku for brown things like browner misos and shoyu)
- Akita Konno sell spores through different exporters (a customs certified agent is required).
- You can also order spores from may different spore makers in Japan and just about anything else from Kawashima-ya using a certified agent. They also have an English website called TheJapanStore.jp
- You can get pre-made koji on Amazon, through the Miyako site, or through Mutual Trading Company. Mutual Trading Company has store fronts throughout the world, including the US. They sell 35 pound boxes or 20 ounce containers of koji. A lot of health food stores, and Asian stores sell their koji.
- Rhapsody Foods in Vermont sells four different types of koji, and a whole lot of other things as well. They also sell miso, tempeh, natto and fresh brown rice mochi that we’ve never tried, but we can verify their koji is high quality. Check under miso for other sellers of koji as well.
- Cultures for Health
- Asian Foods and Supplies – We have yet to order anything that was not great from Gold Mine Natural Foods. They sell most of the Ohsawa products and lots more. If you need traditional seasonings and items they sell at least 50 other things including miso and nama shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce) that are spectacular. If any product says Ohsawa brand or Mitoku brand or Eden Foods brand we highly recommend it.
- The Japanese Pantry only sells the best products that you can buy. Some are quite expensive, others are reasonably priced considering your are buying something artesans have been making for generations. Their vinegars, soy sauces, seaweeds and sesame seed based products are exceptional. There is nothing they sell we don’t very highly recommend.
Dried Beans and Grains
- North Bay Trading Company sells the largest selection of beans, and air dried, sulfite free vegetables we’ve ever seen. Their air dried sweet potato flour makes incredible koji and an all sweet potato miso (recipe soon). We use those as well as their freeze dried fruits for everything from amasake, doboroku, misos, sauces, tempeh, yogurt, bread and dessert baking. They provide Whole Foods with a lot of their bulk ingredients. Order directly from them if you want something in bulk, or don’t want to go through Whole Foods.
- Rancho Gordo sells some really great beans and corn preparations (popcorn, posole) online and throughout North America. We’ve never seen Tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius) around our area before and we’re glad we can get them from RanchoGordo. Their beans are so fresh they sometimes sell out. Buy another kind from them if that happens. That’s a big sign of quality. You can make whatever incredible bean based recipe from these books by the Shockeys with another bean.
You can buy miso in a lot of places including many supermarkets. Places like The Health Nuts also carry the entire line of South River Miso and Great Eastern Sun’s Miso Master products. Whole Foods sells many types of misos as well, including Cold Mountain Miso products that we also very highly recommend. We’ve never seen koji in a Whole Foods store, though.
- Miso Master – This company has a storied history that William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi of www.soyinfocenter.com wrote an entire history about. None of their misos are pasteurized, nor do they contain any added ingredients. Like most misos they are gluten free. They also sell everything in small to very large amounts, including a gluten and wheat free tamari. Every product they sell is certified organic. We highly recommend not only every type of miso they sell, but any products available through Great Eastern Sun. You can call them at (800) 334-5809.
- There are also several companies that sell koji that they use for their products. South River Miso, sells both brown rice koji as well as miso but does not ship during the summer months (between the end of May and the middle of September). Some stores carry their miso year round though.