Simple yet deeply flavorful, Shio Koji Salmon is the best way to enjoy the Omega-rich fish. It’s as easy as marinating salmon in shio koji (a natural salt-based seasoning) overnight and broil to perfection.
This Shio Koji Salmon (塩麹サーモン) recipe is a staple that pairs beautifully with a typical Japanese meal. And it requires only 2 ingredients!
Not only is it fuss-free to make, but the flavor of salmon really shines through. Let’s learn more about this amazing condiment – Shio Koji, and how you can use it in Japanese cooking.
What is Shio Koji
Simply made of salt, koji, and water, Shio Koji (塩麹, 塩こうじ), or salt koji, is a condiment used in Japanese cuisine for hundreds of years.
Koji is steamed grains or beans that are bred with microorganisms called aspergillus. If koji is made from rice, it becomes rice koji (kome koji, 米麹), if it is wheat, it becomes wheat koji (mugi koji, 麦麹), and soybeans become bean koji (mame koji, 豆麹).
Koji has long been a familiar food to Japanese people. Many of the seasonings such as miso, mirin, sake, and soy sauce, which are indispensable for Japanese cuisine, are made from koji.
It is a 100% natural seasoning that boosts the flavor of your ingredient, resulting in a flavorful dish. As it is packed with probiotics, Shio Koji offers plenty of health benefits.
You can learn more here.
Where to Get Shio Koji
Here in the US, you can get a bottle of Shio Koji – All Purpose Seasoning from Hikari Miso at a Japanese/Asian grocery store or Amazon.
It’s a liquid form with the tiny half-dissolved grains of rice malt. When you open the bottle, you would immediately smell the floral aroma of rice koji.
If you wish to cook more home-style Japanese dishes, I highly recommend stocking it up.
How to Cook Shio Koji Salmon
Just 2 Ingredients
- Shio koji
Cooking Step Overview
- Coat salmon with shio koji and marinate it overnight.
- Remove shio koji and broil till cooked.
Yes, that’s it, as simple as that. Shio koji does all the amazing job overnight. You’ll find the salmon nicely tenderized and the taste deeply enhanced. It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy salmon, especially when you can hold of fresh, wild-caught salmon.
For a Japanese home cooked meal, serve this super-healthy, delicious tasting salmon as a main protein to go along with rice, a side of veggie, miso soup, and pickles.
Other Delicious Shio Koji Recipes
- Shio Koji Karaage
- Shio Koji Yakisoba
- Shio Koji Chicken
- Pickled Daikon with Shio Koji
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Shio Koji
I hope you enjoy cooking with shio koji!
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Shio Koji Salmon
- 4 skin-on salmon fillets (1½ lb, 700 g; you can use yellowtail, cod, and other types of fish fillet. For more shio koji recipes, please read the post.)
- 4 Tbsp shio koji (I use shio koji from Hikari Miso)
- Gather all the ingredients.
To Marinate Salmon
- Pat dry the salmon with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Put shio koji on salmon fillets. It doesn't have to be precise amount, just enough to coat the salmon.
- Distribute shio koji to all sides of salmon, including the skin. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. Depending on the thickness of the salmon, the marinate time may vary. If you have a thin piece, you can marinate it for a few hours. For thick pieces like mine, I recommend overnight. If you want to freeze the uncooked salmon, you must store the marinated salmon in an airtight freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to a month.
To Broil Salmon
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Set the broiler on "High" with a rack placed about 8 inches (20 cm) from the top heating element (I use the middle rack of my oven) and preheat for 5 minutes. When broiling, you don't control the temperature in the oven; instead, you control the distance between the broiler and the surface of the food. It's similar to using hotter and cooler zones on your grill. My broiler setting is Low (450ºF/232ºC), Medium (500ºF/260ºC), and High (550ºF/288ºC). I usually use the medium (6" away) or high (8" away).
- Using your hands, wipe off shio koji from the salmon fillet. Shio koji gets burn easily, so it’s best to remove it completely from the salmon. Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart from each other.
- Broil the salmon for 10 minutes. NOTE: The cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the fish and the distance between the broiler and the food. When the top is nicely charred, take it out from the oven.
- Flip so the side of the salmon is now up. Place the salmon back in the oven, and broil again for another 5-8 minutes until the thickest part of the fillet reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63ºC) using an instant-read cooking thermometer. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To Bake Salmon
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (218ºC) with a rack placed in the center of the oven. For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC). Bake the salmon for 15 minutes, or until the surface is blistered and brown a bit. You do not need to flip the fish. Note: 5 minutes per ½-inch thickness of salmon (measure at the thickest).
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for 1 month.