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How to Make Shio Koji

Posted by Shima Shimizu on


Have you ever heard of this miracle seasoning? Shio Koji (塩こうじ/塩麴/塩糀)has been a popular condiment in Japan for several years already and now it has been getting attention out of Japan as a umami booster.


This natural seasoning is made in a very simple way and there are only 3 ingredients - Koji, Salt and water. 


Shio Koji can be used as a salt replacement, a marinate, a meat tenderizer, an umami enhancer or a pickle base. There are endless recipes of how to use Shio Koji which we can touch on in another blog post.


For this post, we will introduce how to make Shio Koji.


The recipe might seem like a lot of salt but please do follow the recipe. If you go lower than this amount, you might fail to make Shio Koji as it might attract unwanted bacteria and damage the mixture. If you are on a low salt diet, you can adjust the amount of Shio Koji you use in your recipes.

It will take you 7 to 10 days to complete the fermentation and during the fermentation, you will need to provide care to your culture by giving it a gentle stir every day. Apart from that, it is very easy to make this seasoning.


You might not know when your Shio Koji is ready, the sign will be when the koji turns soft and almost falls apart. This might take longer during winter due to the temperature but please be patient!


Aside from the Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Raw Koji we make here in our kitchen, you can also make your Shio Koji with white rice dry koji as well. This will be easier to find in some Japanese supermarkets.

The difference in the two will be the flavour. The white koji will have a sweeter and milder flavour as compared to the brown rice koji which will have a deeper flavour. You can choose the koji according to your taste.


Are you curious about this mysterious seasoning now? Enjoy the process of making it now! 


Can't wait for 10 days? you can order our in-house made Shio Koji here as well :) 



250g Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Raw Koji
87g Himalayan Crystal Salt




In a medium bowl, mix the Koji and the salt together. koji

Pour the mixture into a glass jar (about 500ml size) and cover the mixture with filtered room temperature water.koji

Cover the jar with a kitchen paper or a tight mesh towel with a rubber band and let it ferment at room temperature. Please avoid direct sunlight.koji

Let the mixture sit for a day and check the water level. If the water is not covering the mixture, add a bit more just to cover the koji and mix well.


Make sure you mix the Shio Koji once a day till the end of fermentation.


After 7 to 10 days of fermentation, your Shio Koji should be ready. The fermentation time will depend on the temperature. If it's winter, the fermentation time will be longer.


Shio Koji will be ready to use once the Koji achieves a soft texture and a pleasant fermented flavour.


You can store your Shio Koji in the refrigerator up to 3 months in an airtight jar and use it to marinate your meat, fish, tofu or vegetables or in recipes like dressings as a salt replacement. 

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