Friday, September 23, 2011

Crazy about Shio-koji ("salt-koji") Tofu!

My journey of cooking with Shio-koji ("salt-koji"...salt-fermented rice koji) is unstoppable.
When an existing batch of shi-koji is half gone, I normally start making a new batch, and after 10 days of fermenting, it's ready to go. (Here's the shio-koji recipe posting.)

This time, I made shio-koji Tofu. After pressing out the excess moisture of medium-soft tofu (I put a weight on a medium-soft tofu and leave it in the fridge overnight, then pat dry with papertowel.), tofu is cut in half and each piece is rubbed with just enough amount of shio-koji paste all sides. Then, they are individually wrapped in plastic and put in a tight-sealed bag.

It's ready in 3 days, but I waited for 4 days...shio-koji is gently wiped off and I ate the 4-day-marinated shio-koji tofu in simple slices like sashimi-style. AMAZING!! The texture is so dense and creamy (like cream cheese), and the flavor is super deep. Wow, it's pretty addictive.

It's also great as a base for dipping sauce. This time, I simply mixed equal amount of shio-koji tofu and creme fraiche and blended in food processor until creamy. You can add seasoning if you like, but I did just the super-simple 50/50 shio-koji tofu and creme fraiche, and the taste was fantastic!

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So, to enjoy this dipping, I roasted simple salt baby potatoes with my tagine-style donabe, "Fukkura-san", and served with the salt-koji dipping. (Here's the recipe for tagine-roasted potatoes.) It was so hard to stop eating...the combination was unmistakable.

Then, guess what, I also marinated very soft-boiled eggs in shio-koji paste! It can be ready in just over night, but I waited for 2 full days. The egg yolk has become almost translucent and so shiny over time. The flavor was insane...the salt-koji flavor penetrated to the core of the yolk and the whole egg was like a special treat. Wow.

Ahahahaha...I have one more from the same night! I made Broccolini & Shio-koji Tofu Goma-ae. I cooked broccolini with the donabe steam-roaster, "Tochinsai", tossed them in my sesame-miso sauce, and added some cubed shio-koji tofu and tossed them again. Another WOW.

Shio-koji banzai.
Happy donabe life.