Written and illustrated by Misa Ono
Shio-koji usually goes well with any salty dishes. Adding a pinch of shio-koji enhances the sweetness in sweet jams. Shio-koji itself is nothing but helps enrich the taste of dishes. Just like fashion or hairs style, if they are always same, it’s boring. You want to wear skirt one day, and pants in another day, or sometimes feel like dying your hair or getting a perm. Some tiny extra to your everyday routine would help to change all.
Take spices as an example. Curry powder is one of the useful spices which is a mixture of turmeric, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, etc. With the curry powder you can add spiciness to your dish. Shio-koji and curry powder increase the flavour of stir-fried dishes, which improves one’s appetite. You can also marinate meats like mince with these two seasonings, which makes a nice curry rice or fried rice with some vegetables. I personally likes the combination of cumin and shio-koji that is great for stir-frying burdock roots or potatoes with. Other than spices, herbs like mint and basil are very good friends with shio-koji too. Baked chicken marinated with shio-koji and herbs like rosemary is mouth-watering! Effects of spices and herbs to meals are various, and combining some with shio-koji can makes the effects more powerful.
Yogurt and shio-koji are another best pair. Yogurt is often used as a sauce in Turkey and Bulgaria. A sauce made of yogurt, shio-koji, spices, herbs (eg. mint) and grated garlic is perfect for deep-fried dishes and boiled vegetables.
Yogurt has a lot of live lactobacillus. Good bacteria in your body loves them while bad ones hate them. Good bacteria improve the intestinal environment by increasing lactobacillus. On top of this health benefit, nutrients of shio-koji, spices and herbs get all together. So the sauce is superfood with great health benefits and taste!