Shio koji is a type of sweet-salty marinade that is fermented with rice koji, salt, water, and culture of Aspergillus oryzae. Similar to how yeast grows to develop bread, A. oryzae develops to give flavor to the rice marinade. You can buy shio koji already made, but what’s the fun in that? Homemade shio koji requires few ingredients and avoids alcohol commonly used in commercial preparations.
Rice koji can be bought pre-made at your local Asian grocery store or online stores such as on Amazon. It’ll be rice grain that looks fuzzy white and may have a yeasty-like smell. You can also make your own rice koji, though it is a little bit harder. The following recipe is based on weight in grams and milliliters because ratios should be maintained. A kitchen weight scale will be helpful in measuring out the amounts.
- 300 grams Koji
- 75 grams Salt
- 400 mL Water
- 1 Quart Mason Jar or other similarly sized jar or container
- Kitchen scale
- Bowls to weight ingredients on scale
- Mixing Bowl, Wooden spoons
- Mason Jars
- Wash and dry hands. Weigh out each of the three ingredients in separate bowls. Break up the large koji clumps into smaller pieces.
- Add the salt to the koji and mix well with a spoon. Add the water to the salt and koji mixture, breaking up any remaining clumps with your hands or spoon.
- Transfer the mixture to the jar or container. Label the date, cover with the lid, and leave to ferment for 7 to 10 days. Every day mix the mixture with a clean spoon and replace the lid. If it’s hot, ferment closer to 7 days and if it’s cold, closer to 10.
- If the water becomes low and the mixture starts to dry, add more water. Once it’s fermented, leave in the fridge where it will keep for several months.
Recipes Using Shio Koji: