Koji is a grain (such as rice, soybeans and barley) that is inoculated and propagated with the Koji culture, which is a microbe. It is natural and used to make common Japanese ingredients such as soy sauce, miso and mirin etc….
Shio Koji is a mixture of Koji, Salt (Shio in Japanese) and water and is a very versatile seasoning. My mother introduced Shio Koji to me as a “current trend” in Japan several years ago. Since then, Shio Koji has been my trustworthy partner in the kitchen. When I feel something is missing, it is the time when Shio Koji comes up. Taste of Shio Koji itself is very salty and strong, however, when you use it as a seasoning, it brings the dish to the next level. I feel, somehow, Shio Koji helps other ingredients to produce the own umami.
I added it into my yogurt dressing this time. I think that Shio Koji smoothes the flavour by cutting the harshness of plain yogurt and lemon juice. I found Shio Koji in my local Japanese food store in Subiaco if you would like to try it out.
Ingredients (Serving 4)
5 small Beetroots (or 4 big ones)
1 Carrot – shredded
1 Tomato – roughly chopped
1 Red Capsicum – rough chopped
½ Onion – thinly sliced
4 Tablespoons of Plain Yogurt
2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
½ Tablespoon of Shio Koji
1 clove of Garlic -finely chopped
½ Teaspoon of Dried Oregano
- Roast Beetroots – Pre-heat oven to 230 ◦C. Wrap beetroots with alfoil individually and place them into the oven. Bake them for 45 minutes or until they are cooked.
- While roasting the beetroots, chop all of the salad ingredients and place them into a large bowl. For dressing, mix all ingredients except oregano in a small bowl.
- Once the beet rots are cooked, remove them from the oven. Peel the skin off and cut them into 2cm cubes. Add them into the chopped salad.
- Dress the salad with the dressing. Sprinkle the oregano on top to serve.
Note: I found this website explains more about Koji if you are interested.