It may sound incredible that you can make some of the best salmon you’ve ever had with just TWO ingredients, but it’s true. Simple, fast, and fool proof, Shio Koji salmon uses a traditional Japanese method that creates deeply flavorful and moist salmon with just a few minutes of hands-on prep. Salmon is rich with Omega-3’s that are essential to heart health and this recipe helps you get it on the table with a minimum of fuss, so let’s get into it.
What is Shio Koji?
A favorite seasoning for Japanese home cooks, shio koji is made from rice inoculated with a harmless mold. (Mold also being a key ingredient in lots of yummy things from dry aged steaks to wine!) It is used to marinate and tenderize meat, and provides rich savory umami goodness. You can easily make your own shio koji at home, and I show you how here. It is also readily available online and in Asian markets that specialize in Japanese ingredients.
Making Shio Koji Salmon
I like to use a skin on salmon fillet for this, and I start by cutting the salmon into equal portions. This isn’t so much a recipe as a method. Each serving of salmon (about 5-6 ounces) needs 1 Tablespoon of shio koji. I bought a package of salmon, which was about a pound, so I cut it into 3 servings. If you want a larger serving of salmon for each person, I suggest giving two smaller pieces rather than one large piece of fish. This will allow the shio koji to penetrate the fish evenly and fully.
The salmon should marinate in the shio koji for at least 6 hours. I like to leave it overnight for the most flavor. Plus it’s nice to start the day knowing your dinner is pretty much already taken care of! When you are ready to cook the salmon, make sure you take off an excess shio koji as it easily burns. I use my hands but you can use a paper towel if you prefer.
Broil the salmon for 6-8 minutes. You do not need to flip the salmon. Keep a close eye on it; I like it to get a good char in places but you don’t want it too burnt.
I like to serve Shio Koji Salmon with a simple green veggie like Sesame Green Beans or Japanese Style Spinach for an easy, healthful, and delicious meal. Try it and let me know what you think by commenting on the recipe below. And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!
- 1 lb skin-on salmon fillet
- 3 Tablespoons Shio Koji
- Cut the salmon into 3 equal pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel and place the pieces of salmon into a storage container.
- Pour the shio koji over the salmon and gently coat the salmon with the shio koji.
- Cover and refrigerate the salmon overnight or at least 6 hours. The longer you marinate the salmon the more flavor will be absorbed.
- Move the oven rack to the second shelf from the top (about 8 inches from the heat source) and set the broiler to high.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with a little oil (to keep the skin from sticking).
- Using your hands, wipe off the excess shio koji from the salmon and place the salmon skin side down on the baking sheet.
- Broil the salmon for 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on it. It will get very caramelized. (You can put some foil on top or move it down another shelf if you think it’s getting too charred).
- I like salmon to be just cooked on the inside. If you prefer well done salmon, tip the pieces over to the side and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the shio koji salmon to a plate, garnish with some lemon wedges and serve.
Keywords: salmon, marinate, healthy, japanese, seafood
This has really been my summer of Air Fryer experimentation. I know I’m late to the party but I’m making up for lost time, and I was especially thrilled with this Air Fryer Tofu. Perfectly golden and crispy, and glazed with a delectably sweet and spicy sauce, this is a winner! And so easy to make too, so let’s get into it.
Making Air Fryer Tofu
I use firm tofu for this and I first remove excess moisture by pressing it in paper towels. I’m generally not a lover of extra firm tofu since it’s missing the pillowiness (is that even a word) and creamy flavor that I crave. But in this instance, firm tofu works better because there’s less moisture to interfere with the frying process. Plus it’s more sturdy and less likely to break apart when you flip over the pieces during the air-frying process.
Then I make a simple marinade with pantry staples that do double duty as a dipping sauce.
Then pour over the tofu, making sure the tofu pieces are coated with the sauce, and let them marinade an hour or two, or even overnight.
When I’m ready to cook the tofu, I reserve the marinade and then add some cornstarch to the tofu to help it really crisp up.
When the tofu is done, it will be golden brown and crispy. Since air fryers, like ovens, can vary in power, you will need to keep an eye on your tofu. If you see that the tofu is getting too dark, lower the heat.
While it’s in the air fryer, I quickly turn the reserved marinade into a syrupy dipping sauce. Cook the sauce for a couple of minutes until it is hot and bubbling. It’s pretty thick already so you will not need to reduce it.
I like to garnish with sesame seeds and some scallions.
This Air Fryer Tofu makes an excellent starter, or a fun protein packed snack. Make a double batch and use leftovers for grain bowls or a quick veggie stir fry. If you haven’t yet gotten into Air Frying, I give oven instructions in the notes. Make it this week and let me know what you think! And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love seeing your creations!
- 1 block firm tofu (about 14 ounces)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 3 Tablespoons ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons mirin
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- Oil spray
- Scallions, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (I used a mix of white and black)
- Drain and wrap the tofu in a couple layers of paper towels. Gently press to eliminate excess water.
- Remove the paper towel and cut the tofu into bite size cubes, about 1 to 1 ½ inch squares.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar, ketchup, mirin, soy sauce, gochujang, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
- Gently transfer the tofu cubes to a storage bag (or container) and add the sauce.
- Seal the bag, squeezing out the air, and gently move the marinade and tofu around, until all the cubes are coated evenly.
- Marinate for an hour or two (or overnight).
- Take the tofu out of the bag and gently place the cubes on a plate. Do not discard the marinade.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch over the tofu generously, flip the tofu, and sprinkle again to coat the other side.
- Spray the air fryer with a cooking spray and add the tofu cubes to the air fryer, leaving a little space between each piece. Spray the tofu with the oil spray.
- Set the air fryer to 400ºF and air fry for 9 to 11 minutes.
- Open the air fryer and gently flip the tofu a few times every 3 minutes or so, so they don’t stick to the bottom and also brown evenly. The tofu is ready when it’s golden brown.
- While the tofu is frying, pour the marinade into a small saucepan.
- Heat the sauce over medium high heat for a couple of minutes until hot and syrupy.
- Pour into a small sauce dish.
- Transfer the tofu to a plate and top with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Serve Air Fryer Tofu immediately with the sauce on the side.
*You can also bake this tofu in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400. Put down a piece of parchment paper (which is less sticky than aluminum foil.) Spray your parchment paper with oil. Lay your prepared tofu on the paper and spray again with oil. Bake the tofu for 15-20 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
Keywords: tofu, vegan, air fryer, korean, gochujang, snacks, crispy