I've made a shio koji "starter" using koji-inoculated rice grains, salt, and water, and have added fresh rice to it once in a while to keep it living and fed. I've heard many chefs and home cooks talk about the value of koji's proteases and amylases for tenderizing and increasing glutamate concentration in meats, but I've run into a problem when marinating chicken thighs in shio koji. While pubs like Cook's Science advocate anywhere up to 3 days in a shio koji marinade, I find the salt content generally recommended for use in shio koji just ends up curing the chicken, and you get a very stringy, unpleasant texture in the final result when cooked. Has anyone had this experience? Are shorter marinades the way to go? Reducing the salt content?

  • I've not heard of using salt in a plain koji fermentation (certainly with Miso, etc.). Could you please cite a reference on how/why.
    – Kingsley
    May 26, 2022 at 5:49
  • In terms of using koji with salt in a marinade, there's this: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/105224/…
    – Kingsley
    May 26, 2022 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


The salt can interrupt the fermentation, but the right amount of it depends from other factors also. Try with the skin only and see the result.

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