If you have never heard of shio koji before, get ready to fall in love with its taste and versatility.
Shio is the Japanese word for “salt”, while koji is a specific strain of mold that is used to ferment cooked rice. While it might sound odd to purposely cook with mold, koji has been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries. In fact, it is the foundation of several popular condiments including miso, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sake. Rich in protease and enzymes, koji breaks down ingredients to highlight their natural sweetness and umami.
Shio koji is extremely versatile and can be used as a salt substitute, pickling agent, base for dressings/sauces, and marinade for meat and fish. Essentially, shio koji is a natural way to enhance the flavor of any ingredient that it is mixed with. In this recipe, shio koji is used as a marinade to tenderize the chicken and add a savory and subtly sweet note to the dish. As a natural probiotic, it is also known to aid in digestion.
To make this dish, simply chop your ingredients into bite-size pieces, marinate the chicken, cook each component individually, then combine in the pan and finish off with a tablespoon of sake.
With just seven ingredients, this shio koji chicken recipe is an easy way to get a healthy meal on the table within minutes. Complete with protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates, this nutritious dish can be enjoyed right away or as a meal-prepped lunch for the next day!
- 300g chicken breast
- 1 tbsp shio koji
- 50g green beans
- ½ sweet potato
- 1 tbsp of oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp sake
- Chop the chicken breast into bite size pieces and massage with shio koji using your hands.
- Let the chicken rest for at least 1 hour in the fridge in a closed container.
- Cut the green beans into pieces of the same length. Heat a drizzle of oil in a pot and cook the beans for 4-5 mins until they are tender, adding just a pinch of salt.
- Cut the sweet potato into cubes and cook for about 15 minutes (depending on the size) in a pan with a drizzle of oil, turning them occasionally so that they do not burn.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and cook in a heated pan with oil until fully cooked and golden brown.
- Add the cooked green beans, sweet potatoes and sake. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then serve.
Recipes courtesy of Eleonora Badellino. You can find her at @everydayobento
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.
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March 20, 2020
Hi Caitlin! Thank you for your comment. You can absolutely use fish instead of chicken and given the versatility of shio koji you can try stir frying a variety of vegetables and using shio koji as part of the sauce – it really helps to enhance the flavors of all the ingredients!