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recipe card shio koji

Shio Koji

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Japanese



For the Shio Koji:

  • 10 oz dry rice koji (300 g)
  • ¼ cup sea salt (60 g)
  • 16 ounces water (473 g)*

For Pickles:

  • 6 red radishes
  • 2 small persian cucumbers
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 cup prepared shio koji
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 whole dried chilies
  • 2 large garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 square kombu, cut into 4 pieces


Make the Shio Koji:

  1. Put the rice in a bowl and use your hands to break up the rice into small pieces.
  2. Add the salt and continue massaging the rice for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add half of the water and continue squeezing and massaging the rice for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining water and stir. 
  5. Pour the mixture into a container and cover with a lid. Store the container in the warmest part of your kitchen. (I put mine in a cabinet near the stove.)
  6. Let the mixture ferment for approximately 10 days. Mix the contents with a spoon every couple of days.
  7. The shio koji is ready to use when the mixture is thickened and there is a gentle sweet scent. Store the shio koji in the fridge until ready to use.

For the Pickles:

  1. Wash all of the vegetables. Trim and peel the carrots. Trim the cucumbers and the radishes.
  2. Fit the vegetables into a tight shallow container. 
  3. (You can also use a gallon zip top plastic bag.)
  4. Add the smashed garlic, kombu, and dried chilies on top of the vegetables. 
  5. Mix the sugar and the shio koji together until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Pour the mixture over the vegetables. Place the lid on top of the container. If using the bag, push all of the air out of the bag and zip it closed.
  7. Leave the container out on the counter for a couple hours then place in the refrigerator.
  8. Refrigerate the vegetables at least 4 hours or overnight. The vegetables will continue to get saltier as they marinate. The veggies are ready to eat after the first day.
  9. You can rinse the koji off before eating or eat it without rinsing.
  10. Once the vegetables are pickled to your liking, you can take it out of the brine, rinse it off and store it until ready to eat. The vegetables keep for a week refrigerated.


* Avoid hard water or alkaline water and do not use rock or kosher salt.

*I reuse the marinade a couple of times, increasing the pickling time to adjust for the decreasing saltiness. 

Keywords: shio koji, japanese pickles, fermented foods, asian condiments