RECIPE: Shio Koji (Salted Rice Malt) Tomato Pasta


Servings: 3 
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins


  • 6 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced finely)
  • 3-4 large tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 2½ tbsp of shio koji (salted rice malt) (We recommend the shio koji from our Creative Beginnings: Redefining "Wa" Care Package)
  • 1 tsp of mirin
  • Spaghetti for 3 people

Optional toppings

  • Cheese
  • Basil
  • Boiled or grilled chicken


  1. Add the olive oil and minced garlic to a pan on high heat. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, add the chopped tomatoes. Lower the heat to medium. Gently stir and cover with a lid.
  2. After a couple of minutes, remove the lid and add the shio koji. Cook until the sauce becomes soupy. Lower the heat to low and thicken the sauce by stirring it periodically.
  3. Remove the skin of the tomatoes. Adjust the taste by adding mirin and shio koji as desired. Once the sauce has reduced by half, turn off the heat.
  4. Cook the spaghetti as per the directions on the package and add it to the pan. Toss the spaghetti and tomato sauce. You can also add cheese if desired.
  5. Serve on a plate. Garnish with some herbs, Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Ready to be enjoyed!



  • The toppings are endless. You can add more cheese, chicken, broccoli, asparagus or any other kind of seasonal vegetable would be perfect!


  • If you are using salt instead of the shio koji, keep in mind that salt is much saltier than shio koji so please don’t add too much salt. Starting with 2 tsp of salt would be enough.
  • If your tomatoes are not ripe, please balance out the sweetness with mirin. The riper they are, the sweeter the sauce will naturally become.
  • This tomato sauce pairs well with grilled fish or chicken. It also makes for a great pizza sauce! Make a large batch and save it for later!
Storage time
  • Can be stored it in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4 days.


More recipes using shio koji:

Chicken soup:

Recipe courtesy of Miwa's Japanese Cooking Class

Miwa was born in Kamakura. She spent one year in Texas, US and another year in California, US during high-school and university respectively. In 2016, due to her husband, Yuki’s study abroad, she spent one year in Cambridge, UK where she came up with the original idea of Japanese Cooking Class in Shinagawa & Kamakura. She is currently teaching at the biggest cooking studio in Japan while holding a class at home.  She is the mother of two and a full-time worker. Always busy her food is not for tourists but for the taste of a Japanese mother.(See her Instagram for food pictures). If you want to know the a well-balanced, time-saving and delicious Japanese family cuisine, please join her lesson!

Qualification; Medicinal cooking.

<Best classes and workshops in Shinagawa prefecture on Tripadviser (2010/06/18)

<Instagram: @miwajapanesecookingclass>


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