Making Koji Flour, Controlling Water

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This video is about the role of water in chemical and other enzymatic reactions. In other words, knowing how to manipulate the water content of food on a macro or very microscopic level is the key to preserving food, fermenting food, cooking food or just preparing it to ingest it.

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Truffle Fritters


Truffle flecked chicken fritter.
A light colored seitan (wheat meat or plant protein) – don’t stew it in soy sauce – also works incredibly well in this recipe.

  • 1 1/2 pounds or 680 grams boneless chickens thighs or breasts cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup or 112 grams truffle shio-koji (or mince a truffle or dried mushroom into shio-koji)

Marinate the chicken in the truffle shio-koji for two hours. Add the ingredients below to the chicke and marinate again for 2 hours.


In the meantime we started wilting spinach – use whatever greens, including alfalfa and corn sprouts, that you have – with a tablespoon of very finely minced preserved lemon to serve with the fritters. You don’t need oil for this salad if serving with the fritters.

  • 3/4 cup or 118 grams sake
  • 1 egg or 56 grams

Chicken bathing in sake and truffle shio-koji

Rub the sake and egg into the chicken, blending it together with the truffle shio-koji. Marinate for another hour. Wipe off the chicken as best as you can into the bowl with marinade. Try to save ever last drop of the marinade.


  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup or 184 grams all purpose flour or corn flour
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • Oil for frying (about 4 cups)

Mix the baking powder, salt, and flour together. Add to the reserved marinade. It will be pretty thick at this point. Dip the chicken pieces in this and let them sit for as long as you like in the fridge. Or fry immediately. Try and get batter on each piece of chicken as you slide it into the heated oil.

Add the chicken a piece at a time while turning up the heat for just a few seconds until you get half of the chicken in the oil. You need to make this in two batches (or cut the recipe in half). After the first batch skim the oil well, removing any browned bits.



Make sure the pieces are not sticking to the pan. Shake the pan very gently or give them a little push with your tongs or chop sticks

These will cook and brown very fast so turn them over after two minutes at medium high heat. Then let them fry for another 2 minutes at best. Remove from the oil and let drain if you don’t serve them right away on a bowl of rice or another grain or mashed celery root (celeriac).

I typically have a second pan waiting to heat the oil up for a second batch, after I strain the oil through a very fine mesh strainer.


Fine Mesh Oil Skimmer/Strainer. Also works very well to strain gallons of tea made with loose leaves, or even a soy sauce or shoyu after a first bulk straining.

If you don’t serve this right away, or eat it all chill it overnight in the fridge and eat it cold with a truffle oil mayonnaise, or a simple mild vinegar based vinaigrette.

This is also a great way to make a fast chicken parmiggiano. Place whatever type of cheeses you like over the chicken – truffled cheese, mozzarella, parmesan or even Gruyere or Emmental heat in a 400F oven for 15 minutes.

Also, if you don’t have truffles or mushrooms, shred some perilla or shiso leaves into the shio koji before adding the sake and egg. You could also use milk kefir, buttermilk, chicken stock or cold miso soup instead of the sake. You could also use a light colored seitan or other plant protein – just don’t stew it in soy sauce – instead of the chicken.