RECIPE: Fried Squash with Shio Koji Cream Cheese Sauce

  • 3 min read

Fried Squash with Shiokoji Cream Cheese Sauce using YAMATO Shoyu Miso's Shiokoji (Dec 2018 Nourishing Essentials and Winter 2018 Seasonal Delights Care Packages)

If you are looking for a unique and comforting side dish, look no further! This fried squash with cream cheese and shio koji seasoning will satisfy you with its rich, crunchy flavors.

Shio koji seasoning is the shining ingredient in this recipe, literally translating to “salt koji”. Shio koji enhances a variety of savory ingredients, making it a great way to quickly add a unique twist to any recipe.

Koji is a Japanese fermenting microorganism utilized to create many classic Japanese foods, such as miso, soy sauce, and sake! Its umami flavor and fermentation qualities have been the base of many Japanese dishes for centuries. You will be surprised by how the shio koji will enhance the savory flavors of this dish!

This recipe also uses kabocha, Japan’s famously delicious winter squash. It has an orange inside with a beautiful green rind on the outside. Kabocha has an earthy, sweet flavor that is perfect for this recipe.

Kabocha is becoming increasingly popular outside of Japan and is more common to find at grocery stores across the world. However, you can use any squash or pumpkin you have in your local grocery store for this recipe. You can even use sweet potato if squashes and pumpkins cannot be found. Any of these starchy, earthy vegetables will be the perfect complement to the shio koji and cream cheese flavors!

This recipe will enhance the rich, grounding flavors of your squash of choice by dipping it into this delicious cream cheese. This cream cheese will brighten the squash with the balance of the saltiness of the shio koji, sourness of the lemon juice, and creaminess of the cheese.

Enjoy the intricate flavors of the shio koji, ranging from salty to sweet to savory. It will bring out the complex flavors in this dish with its unique twist!


Serves 2 


  • 1.5 tsp of shio koji
  • 60g of cream cheese
  • 500g squash
  • Parsley as you like
  • Oil to deep-fry
  • Lemon as you like


  1. Cut parsley into small pieces. Cut squash into bite size slices.
  2. Mix cream cheese, shiokoji and parsley well in a bowl.
  3. Heat oil to deep-fry in a pot. Deep-fry squash.
  4. Serve with sauce to dip or drizzle sauce on top. Serve with lemon.

* Available in our Creative Beginnings: Redefining "Wa" Care Package


Recipe courtesy of Mayuko Okada of Mayuko's Little Kitchen

Mayuko's class is well suited for people who would like to enjoy local Japanese culture and a homestyle Japanese meal cooked in an actual Japanese home. It's an entirely different experience from a "studio-type" cooking class, and we are sure you will enjoy the personal attention.

Mayuko's Little Kitchen has won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for each of the past three years, awarded to only the top 10% of service providers. She was chosen as one of the TOP 10 activities in all of Japan ("Foreign visitors' favorite experiences/tours in Japan 2018" on Trip Advisor). Her cooking class has also been featured on national TV programs.


Introduction courtesy of Kimberlee Laney

Kimberlee Laney

As a Japanese-Korean-American, my love for Japanese food first came from my grandmother's kitchen! Japanese food feels like home and I love being able to cook it anywhere in the world to connect with Japan in my own little way. I love diving deep into the layers of Japanese food and always marvel at the food diversity between prefectures. I'm currently eating my way through Tokyo and taking up photography with my Instagram account @capturingkim!

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