Have you discovered shio koji, the darling ingredient of so many chefs?
Maybe you’ve spotted it at a Japanese store, given it a quizzical look, then moved on.
Next time, pick some up and get cooking.
Shio Koji is rice inoculated with a specific mold commonly used to make soy sauce and miso, then mixed with water and salt, and left to ferment.
Available in the refrigerator section of Asian markets, it comes in whole rice grains, pureed or liquid.
It tastes salty, though less so than miso, with a light sweetness and a moderate pickled sharpness, as well as a slight funkiness.
If you’re wondering what to do with it, pick up a copy of the new “The Modern Larder: From Anchovies to Yuzu, a Guide to Artful and Attainable Home Cooking” (Roost Books), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by Michelle McKenzie, a food writer and professional cook who was formerly the program director and chef at 18 Reasons, a non-profit community cooking school in San Francisco founded by Bi-Rite Market.
This marvelous book will introduce you to 58 ingredients, some familiar and some less so, and show you ingenious ways to use them through more than 260 recipes.Read more