"You can't talk about Japanese cooking without talking about koji, " says Sonoko Sakai, author of Japanese Home Cooking.
Shio Koji, also known as Salt Koji, is made up of rice koji, salt, and rice. Shio koji has been widely used in Japan with ancient origins as a seasoning or ingredient, particularly for fermented foods.
Why is Shio Koji getting a revival of interest? We believe it’s the versatile use for meat or fish tenderizer, for making sauces, dressings, pickles and more, that drives the culture. Besides, chefs have dedicated themselves to making poultry and meat extraordinarily juicy with this game-changing ingredient!
The fruity cum fermented scent with a hint of sweetness, parallel to mirin or sweet miso is unlike any other. What constitutes the umami flavors in Shio Koji is entirely natural. The enzymes break down starches in rice koji, allowing the sweetness released during the culturing process to take centre stage.
Shio Koji primarily has a porridge-like texture and consistency. Depending on the fermentation time and water content, shio koji presents itself in various forms such as powdered, puree, paste or close to solid.
What is Koji? “Is koji different from koji spore and koji starters?” “How many kinds of koji can I find and how to use them?” This article is a complete guide about koji and everything you need to know.
Shio Koji is an all-star! First, it acts as a great addition for marinating. Smear shio koji on salmon, set it in the fridge for a short time (preferably less than a day), then wipe it off and cook the fish.
Repeat the same steps for red meat, except marinate it for a day or two. That is, weighing the meat on a gram scale, then using one tenth its weight in shio koji. Alternatively, substitute two teaspoons of shio koji for every teaspoon of salt.
Similarly, marinate vegetables before roasting, grilling or saute-ing. Feel free to make use of olive oil, lime juice and roasted garlic puree as a combination for marinating mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and more.
Care for some hearty stock? Shio koji doesn’t disappoint by being a popular option for chicken stock. Enthusiasts use it to marinate roasted chicken bones overnight, then braise the bones for one hour. You can be certain that shio Koji works wonder to unlock the savory depth of the dish.
We’ve also observed how Shio Koji can be used for baked goods and ice cream bases. Let’s get to making shio koji, at the comfort of your abode!
How to Make Shio Koji
1. Guidance Video
⇒Malted Rice (Rice Koji): 100 grams ⇒Salt: 40g ⇒Water (clean water or mineral water): 200cc ⇒Honey contaiiner or glass container: 1
3. Steps for Making Shio Koji
There are six steps to make Shio Koji:
Put the malted rice.
Add the salt.
Mix it well.
Add in the water.
Close the lid and shake well.
Allow fermentation for 5-7 days at room temperature.
4. Important Points
● To ensure the content remains clean, use Shio Koji for your cooking directly from the honey container. ● Shio Koji should be stored in the refrigerator after fermentation. ● When mixing the containers, close both the inner lid and the outer cap. ● Use two different containers for cooking and fermenting in rotation to enjoy delicious Shio Koji. ● For convenience sake, write a sticky note on the container to be reminded about the expiration date. ● During fermentation, gas may be released. Please do not seal the container tightly. (You can seal it tightly after storage in the refrigerator)
Shio Koji Recipes
Sweet Potatoes with Shio-koji and Honey Butter
Cut the sweet potato into bite sizes and soak in water. Drain and put in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes at 500 W.
Melt butter in a pan and brown the surface of the sweet potatoes.
Mix honey and shio-koji, coat the potatoes with the mixture and serve. Enjoy!
Shio-koji on Steak
Marinate the beef with shio-koji and leave it for 1/2-1 day.
Pre-heat the frying pan for 10 minutes and then pan-fry Step 1 according to your preferences. Cut into bite-sized pieces and pour on the ponzu.
Serve with vegetable side or salad. Enjoy!
Combine the cake flour and baking powder and sift.
Crack the egg open into a bowl, add the sugar, and mix well.
Add the shio-koji and mix well.
Add the sifted dry ingredients and fold in with a rubber spatula until there are no flour streaks.
Add the vegetable oil and mix to incorporate.
Pour into cups and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ for 15 minutes.
Shio Koji FAQ
What is Shio Koji?
Shio Koji is a versatile ingredient used for meat or fish tenderizer, for making sauces, dressings, pickles and more.
What does Shio Koji taste like?
It has a fruity cum fermented scent with a hint of sweetness, parallel to mirin or sweet miso is unlike any other.
Is Shio Koji healthy?
What constitutes the umami flavors in Shio Koji is entirely natural. The enzymes break down starches in rice koji, allowing the sweetness released during the culturing process to take centre stage.
Does Shio Koji go bad?
Shio Koji needs to be refrigerated after fermentation, which usually takes 5-7 days at room temperature. It can be consumed for up to one month.
Is Shio Koji safe for consumption?
Yes! As long as fermentation is well done and consumption does not overtake the expiry date, shio koji can be a marvelous addition for any cuisine.
How to make Shio Koji?
It's not rocket science to try making Shio Koji at home! With quality ingredients and right utensils, you can enjoy the burst of umami flavour in no time! Check out our step by step guide on making Shio Koji.
How to use Shio Koji?
Shio Koji is known for its fruity scent and natural-derived sweetness for marinating, for baked goods, ice cream bases, base for soup stock and more! Get creative with ideas here.
How long can you marinate meat in Shio Koji?
Shio Koji is an all-star! We recommend marinating meat for a day or two. The equivalent for fish would need a shorter time. Wipe off the excess and be ready to cook.
Be sure to check out our recommended products below so you can start making your own shio koji!