Shio Koji Tofu
Shio-Koji 塩糀 translates to salt mold it is a really versatile natural seasoning used in Japanese cooking to enhance the umami of food.
It is made by fermenting cooked grains traditionally rice with water, salt and aspergillus oryzae the mold also used to make miso, soy sauce and sake. Shio-Koji can be used instead of adding salt, it makes wonderful tsukemono (pickles) and can be used in soups and marinades. Shio-Koji is known as an all purpose seasoning, a good probiotic due to its fermentation and it can help to strengthen the immune system it is also high in B vitamins and essential amino acids. Shio-Koji looks a bit like porridge with a sweet slightly fermented smell.
It’s easy to make yourself you will need.
300g of rice koji like the one below.
90g salt, 450ml of water and an airtight container.
Just mix together in your container and place in a warm area to ferment for around 10 days, stirring once a day for the first 3 days. Leave the lid slightly ajar. This will keep in the fridge when ready for 6-10 months.
Other than that you can buy it already made like the one shown below.
Today I’m going to use Shio-Koji to make Shio-Koji tofu, it’s really simple to make and turns out a bit like a soft cheese.
Just cut a block of medium tofu in half ( you can use more but I like to make around this amount every time.) Put the tofu in a pan of simmering water and simmer for around 10 mins. Remove for the pan. You now need to get rid of the water, you can try pressing it but I find that wrapping it in a clean cloth or kitchen towel and leaving it for a few hours works ok. When your tofu has dried out put your tofu on a plate and coat all sides with shio-koji rubbing it gently in. Put your tofu in a zip lock bag squeezing out the air and seal it. I also then put the zip lock bag in a Tupperware type container. Place this in the fridge rubbing in the shio-koji every now and again. Leave for 7 -10 days then remove from the bag and gently wipe away most of the shio-koji. You can now use this on bread or crackers with a nice chutney.
It goes well in a salad as a substitute for feta or as a sandwich filling.
Why not try it in a caprese style salad with a drizzle of olive oil herbs, tomato and fresh ground black pepper. Perfect for summer picnics.