Shio Koji (salt koji)


Shio koji can be kept in an air lock sealed jar but we prefer the refrigerator unless we are aging it. When aging shio koji we typically add some alcohol. We will have some quick pickles made with shio koji at Monday’s event.

  • 300 grams of koji (rice, barley, corn, wheat, etc.)
  • 100 grams of coarse salt
  • 400 grams of water

As you can see the golden rule of shio-koji making is a 3:1:4 ratio. You should try to make the salt equal 12.5% of the total weight of your shio-koji. By weight, not by volume.

The salt percentage of any shio-koji should be between 12 and 15%, but never exceed 15% or go below 7%. There are yeasts and microbes that can still live in a 7% salt solution. Over 15% and protease and other enzymes are denatured. You could still use it as a seasoning though.

If you are using 300 grams of koji, you massage that with 100 grams of salt. Just like when making miso you should always massage your koji and salt.


Quick pickles made with shio koji

If you wait an hour you will see a dramatic change. The temperature may even rise. That means your koji has active enzymes.

You can make this in a blender – our preference – but remember that any time you expose koji to mechanical action it will produce heat. Don’t make a lot at once, and chill your Vitamix or blender first.

After grinding or massaging the salt and koji add the water. You add 400 grams of water, cover tightly and place in a dark place for this recipe. Shake every day for 10 to 14 days.

Store in refrigeraor or at room temperature under air lock. Don’t make too much at a time, as it will become infected with wild yeasts and bacteria if you keep opening and closing the container.



When using shio koji to replace salt you should use 2 to 3 tsp to replace a tsp of salt.

A tablespoon of shio koji per pound of fish or meat to marinate for 15 minutes is enough. Usually 10 to 15% of the weight of whatever you are using the shio koji on will suffice.

There is sugar in shio koji so careful when you cook it. Wipe the shio koji off if you like. It’s excellent in baked goods.