Koji is a malted rice used in the fermentation process for miso, sake, and soy sauce.
Shio-koji has only natural flavour and colour, and contains no additives and no MSG; only a mixture of malted rice (koji), salt (shio) and water. Used in Japan for centuries as a seasoning or ingredient. Known to be an all-purpose seasoning. It works in any style of cooking.
Shio-Koji gives food umami. Umami is a pleasant savoy taste that makes food moreish. It’s often referred to as the fifth taste, rounding out salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. More specifically, it is a measure of the level of glutamates in certain ingredients. It also acts as a tenderiser. Its rich enzymes break down both starches and proteins, which makes it suitable as both a fish and meat marinade.
Adding it as a cooking ingredient adequately seasons your food removing the need for other seasoning. Shio-koji can be simply poured onto meat or fish as a marinade or added as a sauce or as a finishing-touch. It can also be used in place of salt by substituting two teaspoons of shio-koji for every teaspoon of salt. For meat or fish, the volume to use is 10% of the weight of the meat, fish to be seasoned. You can see how good it is on chicken tempura fritters, and pork chops.
Shio-koji can be kept for 6 months in a refrigerator or it can be kept for up to year in the freezer!
Glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate (MSG) is widely believed to be bad for your health. Take-aways and manufactures boast that their food contains no MSG. However, even with such a bad reputation, there is no scientific evidence to show that it has a negative impact on the body.
- “It’s ridiculous,” says Ken Lee, a professor, and the director of food innovation at The Ohio State University. “It’s wacko, it’s weird; it’s not true that MSG has any kind of toxic or causative role in food allergies.”
Glutamates have been used in Japanese cuisine for centuries and doesn’t have a large anti-MSG following like the western world. The life expectancy in Japan is on average 4 year longer than the western world.
However, shio-koji is a natural form of umami and contains no MSG. Shio-koji the clear alternative to MSG for people who avoid it but would like to enjoy umami food.