Shio Koji

As I unpacked my souvenirs from our trip to Japan, I grabbed a plastic deli of white sludge packed in plastic. The sludge was purchased in Nishiki market in Kyoto when I asked for koji. For some reason in those situations, even if I know the requested item is dubious relative to the request, I take it and run as to not offend. Either this was the funkiest koji I had ever seen or I had gotten something different from what I had requested.

When I asked my friend Yukari what the label read, she noted it was shio koji. After a little research, I found what it was. Shio koji is a condiment made using salt, water and koji (rice inoculated with mold used for making sake, miso, etc.) which seems to be a flavor super-charger with ultra-concentrated sweet, salty and umami flavors. it was also easy to make. It is just salt, water and koji plus time. Before even breaking open the shio koji, I opted to make my own.

Breaking the koji out of the fridge, I warmed water to 140 degrees (this is important, hot enough to bloom the rice, cool enough to keep mold alive) and poured enough of it over the koji to wet it without covering it. A little massage, the remaining water and two weeks of stirring daily later, I was a pint richer in funky, funky condiment newness.

The shio koji has an incredible range of flavor. It is strongly salty, but also strongly sweet from the sweetness in the koji. Then the two weeks of fermenting add a miso-like funk to porridge-like sludge and take the texture from rice and water to somewhere plasmatic with both soft granules and dissolved granules. My first use was in a project which is still in the works, but the first finished use of the shio koji was in combination of olive oil and grape vinegar spread over cabbage which was then roasted for almost an hour. The complexity of the cabbage was the first noticeable thing. It was not a flavor I could pinpoint, but I knew it was much more flavor than typical. The aroma from the kitchen was like buttery, yeasty rolls even though I was cooking cabbage. The flavor boost was confirmed when an unknowing co-diner asked what I “did to the cabbage”. I was initially concerned as if I had ruined it, but it was the opposite, it was mysterious AND improved.

After tasting this version, I opened the souvenir version to see where I hit out. It is indeed shio koji, but my version was sweeter and saltier, but not quite as funky. I’d guess it would be due to the quality of the koji, but given my inability to speak enough Japanese to get koji at Nishiki, I was happy to fall into this delicious new (to me) condiment.

Shio Koji

300 grams water
100 grams koji
30 grams flaky sea salt

Step one: In a heat proof bowl, add salt and koji and mix to combine.

Step two: Heat the water to 140 degrees. Add enough to wet the koji. Massage the koji/water, then add the remaining water.

Step three: Keep out and semi-covered. Stir daily. Smell daily.

Step four: When smell changes from salty/funky to salty/sweet/funky, taste. When at the flavor you like (between a week and two weeks), spoon into a jar and put in fridge.

Note: Many websites indicate uses for shio koji as anything you’d put salt on. I’d disagree. Add to whatever you want to really flavorful in a savory way. It is complex, but not subtle.

Originally posted 2014-07-15 23:02:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Bacon Pic of the Day – Bacon Brunch…

How do you not stop in your tracks, turn immediately right and enter this restaurant??

If you can’t read it, allow me to spell things out for you:

1. The Sampler – strips of bacon from farms in three different states, bacon marmalade on cheddar biscuit

2. The Entree – choice from 4 bacon favorites – blt, mac & cheese, pizza, grilled cheese

3. The Bacon Brownie – served warm with side of Jack Daniels whipped cream.


More about this dining experience from the young lady who took this picture (and ate the food) over at “Blondie and Brownie“…

Originally posted 2010-08-27 09:00:39.

Related Stories:April 11, 2013 Bacon Pic of the Day – Sunday Brunch…December 20, 2013 Bacon Pic of the Day – Most Important Meal of the Day!

Originally posted 2014-04-01 13:48:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


yields 8 to 10 servings

2 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons butter
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a 10-inch cast iron pan on medium-high heat add the bacon and saute until almost crisp then add the onions and season with a pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper. Saute until the onions are tender, then add the garlic and stir. When the garlic is tender use a slotted spoon to remove the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the cast iron pan and keep it on medium heat while you make the batter.

In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the buttermilk, eggs, butter, and chiles into the bowl with the bacon mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gently pour in the egg mixture. Fold until all the ingredients are combined. Immediately pour the batter into the cast iron pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Glaze: Melt the butter, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a small pan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the cornbread is done, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the glaze over the top. Slice and serve warm.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Sunny Anderson, “Chile Chile Bang Bang,” Cooking for Real, Food Network, 2010

Originally posted 2012-03-08 10:25:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Posted in Uncategorized


1 small to medium sweet potato, diced
2 eggs
8 slices of bacon, diced
4 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Place eggs in small sauce pan, cover with cold water, cover pan and place over high heat until just before boiling. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 13 minutes. Immediately rinse in cold water, peel eggs, dice and set aside. Meanwhile, dice sweet potato. Heat skillet over medium-high. When hot, add bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Add diced sweet potato and continue to cook until potato is tender and bacon is fully cooked. In a small bowl, mix dill, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add eggs, sweet potato and bacon, and mix. Serve warm or cold.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Crossfit Tidal Wave, 2324 Market Street, Galveston, TX 77550

Originally posted 2013-07-19 01:38:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


yields four servings

250 grams of bacon, cut into three-inch lengths
tempura batter
about 2 cups of vegetable oil for deep frying

For the salad:
a small head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 cucumber (peeled or unpeeled), thinly sliced
4 to 6 plump and juicy tomatoes, thinly sliced

For the yogurt and honey dressing:
1 large clove of garlic, grated
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of plain yogurt
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons of honey
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon of chopped parsley

Make the dressing. Stir together the olive oil, yogurt and garlic until smooth. Add the lemon juice, honey and some salt and pepper. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the parsley.

Heat the cooking oil until fine wisps of smoke start to appear. Dip each strip of bacon in the batter and fry, a few pieces at a time, until golden and crisp. Drain on a stack of paper towels.

Time to assemble the salad. Line a large plate with the shredded lettuce. Scatter the cucumber and tomato slices on top. Pile the bacon tempura on top of the vegetables.

Drizzle some of the yogurt and honey dressing over the bacon tempura and vegetables. Serve the rest on the side.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Connie Veneracion, CASA Veneracion, November 2, 2011

Originally posted 2012-07-15 08:42:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Posted in Uncategorized

Better with Bacon – Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies…

I had this ready to post yesterday (on it’s regular feature day) but given my work schedule and complete lack of sleep the night before (thanks to a teething Lil’ Baird) I completely forgot to hit publish. Soooo anyway…here’s your day late “Better with Bacon” feature for the week.

Yeah, that’s right, bacon and peanut butter in a convienent cookie form!  Get the nice and easy recipe after the jump…

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies


1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
about 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced


In a skillet over medium high heat, fry up bacon until cooked through and let cool on paper towels until cool enough to dice. Dice up and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment & set aside.
In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Fold in cooked bacon.
Roll into large walnut sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork. If you’d like, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before making the cris-cross pattern.
Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes.

(See step-by-step photos at Recipe via JoytheBaker who adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

Originally posted 2010-05-25 08:07:27.

Related Stories:July 8, 2013 Better with Bacon – Bacon Chocolate Chip CookiesJanuary 16, 2014 Better with Bacon – Peanut Butter Bacon Chocolate Cookies…

Originally posted 2014-06-15 22:14:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Year in Review 2010

Time for the Big List of Things That Were Very Awesome or Important or Mostly Just Entertaining in 2010.

A List of Random Things That Happened to Me This Year:
1. Hot Pants and I spent our January honeymoon in Hawaii. It was just as awesome as you might imagine. Also, I got a tattoo while in Maui.
2. I watched quite a few friends get married, get engaged or get pregnant.
3. My beautiful niece Rhiley celebrated her second birthday in November, and her mom announced she’s going to be a big sister come May.
4. I revived this blog after months of not posting and overhauled what I do here to focus more on the world of crafting and handmade awesomeness.
5. Hot Pants and I celebrated our first anniversary with a trip to St. Simons Island, Ga.
6. Atlanta had its first white Christmas since 1882, but we weren’t here. We were in Memphis, which was enjoying its first snow on Christmas since 1992. No accumulation, though.
7. I adopted a new job at work that has fulfilled me in ways I could not have imagined even a year ago. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity.

Amazing Albums Released this Year:
“I’m Having Fun Now” by Jenny and Johnny
“Infinite Arms” by Band of Horses
“I Learned the Hard Way” by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
“The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire
“J Roddy Walston and the Business” by J Roddy Walston and the Business
“The Lady Killer” by Cee Lo Green
“Volume Two” by She & Him
“Contra” by Vampire Weekend
“Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall” by various artists

“This is Happening” by LCD Soundsystem

Some Books I Read (and loved):
NOTE: I made a habit of logging every book I read in this year. I even impressed myself! This is not the full list, but a healthy sampling.
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy (The Girl With/Who…)
“The Imperfectionists” by Tom Rachman
“This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper (and then I read all of his novels)
“Hoot” by Carl Hiassen
“Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert
All of Emily Giffin’s books
“Zeitoun”? by Dave Eggers
“Accidental Billionaires” by Beb Mezrich
both novels by the fictitious Richard Castle
“Juliet, Naked” by Nick Hornby
“My Fair Lazy” by Jen Lancaster

Some Awesome Movies I Saw (and loved):
“The Social Network”
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”
“Despicable Me”
“Waiting for Superman”
“Scott Pilgrim v. the World”
“The Tourist”
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story”

Places I Visited:
Maui, Kauai and Oahu, Hawaii
Lotsa places in Penn.
Norwich, N.Y,
San Francisco, Calif.
Portlan, Oregon
Washington, D.C.
St. Simons Islan, Ga.
Memphis, Tenn.

Famous People Sightings:
John O’Hurley
Shaun White

Live Shows That Rocked:
Avett Brothers (twice!)
Band of Horses
Jenny and Johnny (briefly)
New Pornographers

Originally posted 2010-12-29 18:34:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter