Home Mains 2 ingredients Simple Shio Koji Beef Steak

2 ingredients Simple Shio Koji Beef Steak

by momen
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Japanese shio koji beef steak recipe

Have you heard of Shio Koji? If not, you are lucky for stopping by my blog. If you have, I assume that you are very into Japanese food. Shio Koji is a magical seasoning made from salt, malted rice and water. It not only tenderizes meat and fish, but also brings out the flavor, known as Umami. Shio Koji is my answer to make restaurant-quality steak at home.

Japanese shio koji beef steak recipe

What is Shio Koji?

Shio Koji is one of the traditional Japanese ingredients. It was a trend of Shio Koji in Japan a couple years ago, and now became a common household ingredient.
Shio means salt in a literal sense. And Koji is a breeding of Aspergillus oryzae, which is one of the types of mold growing on rice, wheat, soybeans and other grains. But don’t take it creepy, It’s harmless and beneficial to our body the same as other fermentation products such as cheese and yogurt. Japanese condiments such as soy sauce, miso and sake involve the fermentation with its mold.

Shio koji

How Shio Koji works for meat?

In short, Shio koji makes meat tender and delicious.

The reason why meat gets tough is because it contains muscle proteins. It shrinks and hardens when heated it up. Before it become that, an enzyme called protease in Shio koji does a great job, which breaks down the proteins into small pieces.

The great thing about protease is that it also increases amino acid which what we feel about umami in food.

How to use?

It’s very simple. Marinate 10% of Shio Koji of the total weight of the meat, fish or vegetables. 1 tablespoon of Shio Koji is about 20 grams, therefore I used 1 tablespoon of it for 200g of the beef. If you marinate longer times, the meat can be softer. After the marinade, lightly wipe away the excess Shio Koji. You can eat them though, Shio Koji is easy to burnt than not marinated meat. Please pay attention through cooking.

marinating beef with Shio koji

marinating beef with Shio koji

How to store?

Once opened a package, put in a fridge. The package says finish it within few months. However, I think that it would last longer than that. Because my homemade Shio Koji has been kept for about a year with no problem.

You can enjoy amazing steak at the tenderness and flavor!

Japanese shio koji beef steak recipe

For real voice about Shio Koji, it would be best to check the customer reviews on amazon!

If you are interested in food made with fermented rice, also check out my Amazake miso chicken.

Japanese shio koji beef steak recipe

2 ingredients Simple Shio Koji Beef Steak

It's a very simple beef steak recipe with Shio Koji.  You only need to marinade the seasoning with beef for overnight or up to 2 days. You will be amazed at the tenderness and flavor.
Author Matcha and Tofu
Servings: 2


  • 2 serving beef steak with longest expiration dates
  • 10 percent of Shio Koji of the total weight of the beef steak 1 tbsp of Shio Koji is about 20g

Sauce for optional

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove of garlic sliced
  • few drops of soy sauce


  • Lightly score the beef all the way along.
  • Place the beef and the Shio Koji in a resealable plastic bag or container.
  • Marinate and refrigerate for at least overnight or up to 2 days.
  • Rest the beef at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking. Remove the beef from the marinade and wipe off excess Shio Koji.
  • Heat oil in a skillet or pan over medium high heat. Place the steak and cook to desired doneness. Transfer to plates.

Sauce for optional

  • Add the butter and the sliced garlic to the same skillet or pan over medium high heat and cook until the garlic blowned. Turn off the heat and add the few drops of soy sauce. 
  • Spoon the sauce over the steaks.

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Recipe Rating


Bobby Keene 19th 12月 2019 - 7:16 am

Can you salt the steaks before adding the koji?

momen 19th 12月 2019 - 12:26 pm

Thank you for visiting my site! I can’t salt the steaks before adding Shio koji. Because Shio koji contains a lot of salt that is used as a substitute for salt. I hope this answers your question!

Sage 21st 10月 2019 - 10:41 am

Do you need to seal the bag during the marination process in the fridge? Thanks for sharing this!

momen 21st 10月 2019 - 12:54 pm

You don’t need to seal the bag while marinating in the fridge. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Michael Berman 14th 4月 2019 - 4:07 am

I like your recipes very much. I will make the hamburgers soon. Where in London can I buy Shio Koji?

momen 13th 4月 2019 - 11:04 pm

Japan Center probably has Shio koji (塩麹 / 塩こうじ). It may be stored in the fridge close to Tofu or around Miso aisle. Apparently, their online store carries Shio koji. I hope it will help! https://www.japancentre.com/en