dishes using shio-koji 塩麹 more than several times. I thought that, in general, the virtue of shio-koji was a bit over hyped. Since the shio-koji I made from dried shio-koji was getting old (although it still looked and smelled OK), I decided to replace it with some store-bought prepared shio-koji in a small plastic pouch (see picture on the left). It appears that the rice kernels in this one are much softer than the ones from dry shio-koji. I had an extra tail potion of pork tenderloin and two chicken tenderloins which I removed when I was preparing chicken breast from bone-in split chicken breast, I decided to make a small appetizer "kara-age" with these using shio-koji.
Because of the sugar/starch in the shi-koji, the cooked meat came out rather dark. I served it with shredded cabbage, deep fried shishi-tou シシトウ and wedges of lemon. I also served tonkatsu sauce トンカツソース and Japanese hot mustard 和芥子 on the side.
On the left are two pieces of chicken tenderloin and on the right are pieces of pork tenderloin.
Probably I overcooked a bit but still tasted ok.
I prepared both tenderloins a few days ago, I cut both into bite sized pieces, placed both in small Ziploc bags, added a small amount of shio-koji, massaged it and removed as much air as possible and sealed. I let it marinade for two days in the meat drawer in the refrigerator (a few hours to over night may have been adequate, but I did not get to it until today). In the picture below the upper one is chicken and the lower one is pork.
I blotted the surface of the meat with a paper towel and dredged with potato starch or "katakuriko" 片栗粉. I heated peanut oil to 350F and deep fried it for 5 minutes or so, turning several times during cooking. Shio-koji marination added a subtle sweet and salty flavor but I am not sure about the tenderizing effect of shio-koji, which everybody is raving about. It is variation from my usual "tatsuta-age" 竜田揚げ or "kara-age" 唐揚げ (marinade is soy sauce, mirin and grated ginger) but we sort of like the latter.