Shio-koji is a Japanese fermented condiment made from koji rice ,salt and water. You might've heard the word "shio-koji" as it is becoming increasingly popular outside Japan as it is a tasty condiment and also a naturally fermented food.
It is rich in natural enzymes that enhance variety of ingredients. It has a subtle taste, combining salty, sweet and umami savoriness with floral notes from koji mold.
Read more about koji and shio-koji from here.
You can probably buy shio-koji on online, but alternatively you can easily make it at home, too. I always keep homemade shio-koji in my fridge, and use it almost every day. Using shio-koji will raise your cooking to a new level.
How to use shio-koji and how it works
You can use it as a salt alternative in your cooking, such as a dressing for salad, stir-frying, and grilling ,etc. Use twice as much ,as you would salt. Marinating meat /fish in shio-koji is also very nice. I will show you how I use it in my cooking.
- Make fresh salad - add a dressing of; shio-koji, olive oil and a bit of vinegar (see photo below)
- Mix with boiled vegetables - shio-koji and olive oil mixed with boiled okra and beans
- Stir-fry vegetables - shio-koji added while stir-frying garlic and peppers
- Marinate fish, chicken - small whole fish / chicken breast marinated with shio-koji for 1-2 hours, and then grilled
- Add to pancakes - add a spoonful of shio-koji to the batter.
Now you know shio-koji can be added to almost any dish!
Fresh salad with a dressing of shio-koji, olive oil and vinegar
How shio-koji works for your cooking is that it enriches the flavor components of whichever foods it is added to, as top-class chefs in the USA and France have said. You will get a deeper rich taste with some sweetness and umami savoriness in your cooking.
Shio-koji also makes fish/meat tender as the enzymes in shio-koji break down proteins in fish/meat, and the amino acids made by breaking proteins release more umami savoriness into the dish.
The aroma of shio-koji is special. I like the subtle floral notes, so I enjoy it in pancakes!
Different styles of shio-koji
Here are jars of shio-koji I made. Two jars of shio-koji on the left are made from "usual" koji white rice, which is the most common style of shio-koji. The shio-koji in the center jar was blended into a paste. The jar on the right was made from koji brown rice, and it is popular especially for health-conscious people as brown rice contains lots of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber.
You can choose which type of shio-koji you prefer.
- koji rice 200g / 7oz
- salt 70g / 2.5 oz
- water 300ml
- Put all the ingredients into a clean container, and mix with a clean spoon, and then put the lid on.
Place it at room temperature keeping out from direct sunlight, mixing them with a clean spoon, once a day. Leave it for a week in summer, 2 weeks in winter. It will be ready when you can taste some sweetness and umami in it.
*You can make it one day if you have a yogurt maker. Put the container at 60C/140F at for 6 hours.
- Keep in the refrigerator, and use within 3 months.
Enrich your daily meals with shio-koji !
This is the most common type of koji made with steamed rice.
This koji is made with brown rice, which means it contains lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and you can use it in the same ways as usual rice koji.
This sea salt is used for this recipe. It has a rich flavor and some sweetness as it contains lots of minerals from the clean sea water of Okinawa.
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