The reason that everything tastes like shio koji, a fundamental sameness, is because for the most part the shio koji being created is based upon a singular grain. The sameness of the koji results in the sameness in the seasoning.
During the Shio Koji Burger Explorations we observed a magical experience. When we seasoned the meat with shio koji made from a variety of grains, the flavors that developed were unique. The grain plus the koji plus the seasoned medium resulted in creating the flavor. The grain, and thus the need for a variety of shio kojis, is essential in elevating flavors and developing unique experiences. It is with the ability to make our own shio koji that we can unlock its seasoning potential.
We started two new shio kojis. The first is made with emmer that we innoculated with koji, the other is tamaki gold rice. We grew both kojis in the workshop and are now turning them into the powerful seasoning shio koji. We used equal parts water and kojified grain topped with 10 percent salt. It is interesting to observe the difference in what that means when looking at the two different grains. The emmer appears much dryer even though the amounts are the same. We will observe the shio koji over the next week as it develops into shio koji.
The one hang up I have is whether or not it is necessary for this secondary fermentation of shio koji when we are working with fresh koji. I can understand the need to hydrate a dried version of koji on a grain. But with the fresh kojified grains I am wondering its necessity. I will observe and compare.
April 2, 2005