Shio-koji craze in Japan

Posted on May 31, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

Koji mixed with water and salt is called Shio-koji. Shio-koji has been used as a pickling base for about 350 years in Japan. Suddenly this Shio-koji was named “Miracle Seasoning” and used by every cooks from professional to avocational kitchens across Japan. I was introduced to Shio-Koji seasoning by Chef Jiro at Aburiya Kinnosuke, NY City. Since then, I made my own batch and am digging it deeper. The other day I have marinated chicken breast (no skin) for 2...

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Washington Post, May 22 by Katherine Tallmadge

Posted on May 30, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

Bad food is good for you: By Katherine Tallmadge was very interesting article. Gluten is a culprit today. I respect the fact that about 1 percent of the population who cannot tolerate gluten and they must remove it from their diet. But so many others have joined the same camp. As Katherine says “wheat is a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and the people who claimed loosing weight on gluten free diet is simply they did so because they passed the sweets and...

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Amazae Strawberry Cocktail

Posted on May 30, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Here are the home made amazake stored in a jar and amazake strawberry coctail which I have created for my birthday. You can replace the umeshu (plum wine) with fruity, sweeter tasting sake. For non-alcoholi drink add more strawberries and omit alcohol. 2 servings 100ml amazake 3 tablespoons umeshu (home-made plum wine) 3 ounces strawberry 1/2 teaspoon sugar (adjust the volume depending on the sweetness of the strawberry) 1 tablespoon lime juice Put all ingredients in a...

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Brown Rice Amazake Recipe

Posted on May 29, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

1 cup (Japanese rice cooker cup) medium- or short-grain brown rice 5 cups (Japanese rice cooker cup) water 7 ounces dry innoculated koji rice* Cook the brown rice in the rice cooker using porridge function. Cool the cooked rice porridge to 140F. Transfer the cooked rice to the juicer mixer, add the innoculated koji rice and process. When you are using polished white rice, omit this blending process. Transfer the rice and koji mixture to a ceramic bowl, cover the pot with a...

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Koji and Amazake

Posted on May 25, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

I am now researching about koji a lot. Koji is Aspergillus oryzae. It is a fungus and used in Japanese traditional food production such as shoyu, miso, mirin, rice vinegar and sake. The popular drink associated with koji is “amazake”. The direct translation is “sweet” “sake”, but it is not an alcohol drink. I have been always unhappy with store bought amazake at Japanese food store in USA since it was too sweet..could be artificially...

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