Shio-koji 塩麹 is my new obsession! Koji（麴）is rice that's been inoculated with the koji mold, it is an ingredient that has been used for centuries in Asia to make soy sauce, soy bean paste, miso and wine, When koji is combined with water and salt and allowed to ferment, it turns into shio-koji or salt koji.
It is the magic seasoning ingredient that is much talked in town, it adds an umami punch to food, it also tenderizes and gives meat golden glow. It allows you to cook with less salt, less fat and brings out the natural sweetness of meat without using MSG.
I first learnt about it in a Japanese series named Osen (おせん) and tasted pork belly made with it in one of our family gatherings, it was an instant love.
I bought two bottles of Shio-Koji during one of my recent visits to Mitsuwa and couldn't stop using it since.
These juicy pan-seared pork chops I made today get incredible flavor from shio koji, it turned hard to cook,often rough and chewy pork chops into tender, juicy succulent delicacy.
2 pieces/ 200 gm each pork chop
40 gm of Shio Koji
a pinch of baking soda
2 块/每块 200克左右的 猪排
40 克 的 盐麴
1. Soaked pork chops submerged in a pot of cold water with a pinch of baking soda for 10 minutes. This is to reduce the "porky" smell of pork chops.
2. Pat dry using kitchen towel, place the pork chop into a clean plastic bag and give it a good pounding using a mallet to tenderize it. You can also get help from a ever so energetic toddler!
3. Give the side of meat, which the white part of stringy meat a few cuts to prevent curling of pork chop during the cooking process.
4. Marinate the pork chops with ONLY Shio-Koji for at least 6 hours, I did mine overnight.
5. Pan-sear the pork chops at medium low heat with little oil until both sides turned golden in color, slice and serve with shredded cabbage, tomatoes and some steamed rice.