Recipe

Shio Koji

by Tim Chin

Shio koji is a traditional use of koji, the ancient mold that gives us soy sauce, miso, fermented bean paste, and sake. It is made by combining rice koji (cooked rice that has been inoculated with koji spores and then dried), salt, and water and letting the mixture ferment for about a week, during which time it develops a sweet, fruity, slightly funky aroma. Shio koji is primarily used as a marinade. Because it is rich in protease enzymes (which break down proteins) and amylase enzymes (which break down starches), it can transform many foods. In our Koji Fried Chicken, it turns the chicken incredibly savory and tender. In our tests on fish, we found that shio koji firmed and gently cured the filets. And we’ve got big plans for lacto-fermented vegetables that include shio koji. Boost your marinade game with shio koji, and stay tuned for more recipes.

Yield
Makes about 1 quart (800 grams)
ShioKoji-31.jpg
Ingredients
425 g water
300 g firm granular rice koji
80 g kosher salt
1¾ cups water
2¼ cups firm granular rice koji
9 tablespoons kosher salt
Essential Equipment
Instructions
    • 425 g water
    • 300 g firm granular rice koji
    • 80 g kosher salt
    In medium saucepan, heat water to 140 degrees F/60 degrees C. Combine hot water, koji, and salt in lidded container and whisk until salt is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Cover with lid and let ferment at room temperature until mixture is thickened and smells sweet, fruity, and slightly funky, at least 7 days or up to 14 days, stirring once per day. After initial fermentation, store in refrigerator for up to 6 months. 
Instructions
    • 1¾ cups water
    • 2¼ cups firm granular rice koji
    • 9 tablespoons kosher salt
    In medium saucepan, heat water to 140 degrees F/60 degrees C. Combine hot water, koji, and salt in lidded container and whisk until salt is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Cover with lid and let ferment at room temperature until mixture is thickened and smells sweet, fruity, and slightly funky, at least 7 days or up to 14 days, stirring once per day. After initial fermentation, store in refrigerator for up to 6 months. 
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