Shio-koji is an interesting condiment. Koji (Aspergilillus oryzae) is the fungi that, among other things, is used to ferment soybeans for miso, soy sauce, and sake. Shio-koji is koji that is fermented with salt. It combines the enzymatic powers of koji with sea salt to make a seasoning that is extremely savory and rich, allowing cooks to use less salt to get their desired results while adding an additional umami punch. In many ways it is a very quick miso. We are just beginning to understand its capabilities. And with that we are looking at the possibilities.
An issue we have experienced with shio-koji is that everything it touches tastes like it. That does not fly in our world. A seasoning should support without overwhelmng. With that in mind, we have started to explore variations on classic shio-koji. Our first avenue is bourbon shio-koji. We started with a gift of Jasmine rice koji from Rich over at OurCookQuest. We combined the jasmine koji with bourbon and sea salt. We mixed them together and stored them in a covered container at room temperature so that they can ferment and develop. We shall see what happens. The biggest variable is the bourbon's impact on the fermentation process. We know that many fermentations are fickle. Starting one with a high alcohol ingredient may doom the process or reward us with something wonderful. With the bourbon shio-koji in process, several others are in the wings: Coffee Koji, Ketchup Koji, Seaweed Koji. Time to wait and see what develops.