Vegan zucchini potage

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I planted 4 zucchini sprouts this year, and they producing so much zucchini every day! More than I can handle for family of 2. My instagram and facebook post become all about zucchini, I’m sure my friends are sick of my zucchini posts, but when you have more produce than what you can consume,  your head space is filled with it! Asking friends if they want some, giving away to neighborhood, thinking about new recipes…..

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Happy zucchini.

Melbourne weather is all over the place as usual, Feb is officially summer but since yesterday’s afternoon, it became like winter. Gray & windy. I am wearing ugg boots and already missing summer!  Having this weather for a half day, and all of sudden I realised I forgot to make soup! I love making soup from veggie. OH! this is it. The way to consume lots of zucchini! Zucchini potage! So I started making this potage 10 min to midnight 🙂

But my vegan potage is very simple and easy.

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Ingredients:
Zucchini
Onion
Shio koji
Soy milk to adjust final texture (option)

I normally use 1 onion for any type of veggie potage. slice them. If you have celery and carrot, add some slices of them. It bring nice aroma, not too strong, but just nice. I didn’t have them, I made with simply with onion & zucchini only.  Easily cut/slice zucchini as well. Put them in the pot. I cut 5 zucchini, including 1 super giant size.
Add 2-3 table spoon of Shiokoji on top depend on how much zucchini is there.
Put the lid on and cook without water. (If you are afraid of burning it, you can just pour a bit of water) I don’t touch it, I don’t even mix it. Just leave it.

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All the juice come out from zucchini, and start smelling SO beautiful from combination with ShioKoji. Already yum. Very rich aroma.  Zucchini is covered by their own juice, and become very soft.  Blend them with hand blender.
Add soy milk to adjust texture if you like.

That’s all. Actual working time is less than 5 min.
Wash veggies, cut veggies, add Shio Koji. Blend them.

If the day is hot, you can enjoy as cold soup. For like today, Melbourne’s cold weather, we want hot version for sure. With nice sourdough from Loafer bread organic bakery.

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Having soup in the pot makes me so happy and my weekend become nice & cozy with it. Hope my knitting project finish before proper winter comes!

Feb & Mar Workshop schedule

Hello!
We started to take booking for Feb & Mar workshops from this week!
Some Feb’s schedule has be changed, so please check it again.

Copy of Feb & Mar Workshop schedule

Copy of Feb & Mar Workshop schedule (5)

Copy of Feb & Mar Workshop schedule (6)

New workshop!
“Shio Koji making & cooking”
We are so happy to start running this workshop, as we have many requests from people who loves Japanese and fermentation foods.
Once you have Shio-koji in your pantry, you can’t live without it. It is so good!!
Of course, the one you make your own is SO different from what you can get from shops! I’m sure this is going to be very useful seasoning for your cooking! Check it out!

Nuka duke – rice bran pickling is also newish, this might be a start of your fermented life, very interesting world is there. So fascinating!!

Any private workshop request, also any functions, parties and events inquiry, please send us message.

If you have any questions about workshop, ask us from here.
Or simply send us email hello.cookingwithkoji@gmail.com

See you at the workshop xx  or somewhere on the street 🙂

Home made shio Koji

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Shio-koji is one of the key seasoning in my cooking, so I regularly make it so that it never run out.
My version of Shio-Koji is fermented more than 1 month before using. Long and slow ferment. This length brings deep and complex taste.
(Well, I don’t use fridge, so…actually my Shio-Koji’s fermentation will keep going until I finish it)

So easy to make it by yourself!
What you need is….

Rice koji           300g
Natural salt    100g
Water               300ml

This is the Rice koji I made recently.
Nice and fluffy!

I normally use Australian one, but this time, I used NZ natural sea salt.
You can play with your favourite salt as long as use natural good quality one!

And mix them well !!!!  That’s it.
Actually, it already smells good! When you use good fresh Koji, that’s happens.
Love this moment.

Sautéed asparagus with Shio-Koji

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How easy!
5 min will bring you a juicy asparagus dish.
One of my favorite dish with Australian vegetable.

Here is easy steps.

Step 1.
Heat olive oil in the pan and place cut asparagus.
Leave asparagus as it is until the surface gets lightly burnt.
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Step 2.
Once it gets lightly burnt, pour some water to make it steamed.
Add shio-koji at this point, then put lid on.

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Step 3.
When it steamed nicely, sprinkle black pepper on it.
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Step 4.
Serve on a plate and enjoy !!
You will surprise how juicy it is!!
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Shio-Koji Daikon Steak !

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This is really good.
If you have Shio-Koji, please try.
Daikon(White radish) become so sweet and so juicy in just few steps.
It might be my favorite Daikon dish.

Step 1: Cut Daikon.
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I used only upper part, because this part is sweeter than lower part.
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Cut into about 2cm – 3 cm.
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Step 2: Steam them first.
If you have steamer, you can use it.
I don’t have it, so I used normal pan with bit of water.
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Step 3 : Prepare marinade sauce. Only 2 ingredients.
Shio-Koji & Soy Sauce.

Shio-Koji (2 table spoons)
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Add soy sauce (2 tea spoons)
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Then mix well.
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Step 4 : Marinade Daikon with this shio-koji soy sauce.

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Step 5 : Pan grill them!!

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For both side until it become golden.
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That’s all. Easy huh?
It’s worth trying. Really yummy. Hope you enjoy this Daikon Steak!!
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Deep fried summer veggies marinated in Shio-Koji sauce

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Well balanced acid taste sour improves your appetite!!
This Shio-Koji special sauce is the tip!!

This is the sauce. Mix all. Adjust each portion according to your favorite taste.
Shio Koji : 1 table spoon
Lemon juice : 1/2 tea spoon
Graded garlic : little bit
Water : 100 ml

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Cut vegetables.
Any choices from eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini, Okura etc.

Then deep-fry them without breading or batter!
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Mix the fried vegetables with marinate sauce.
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Dish up on the cooked rice.
Great combination with rice.
If you use the bowl to serve, then you can call it “Vegetable Don” !!

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Snap garden peas with Shio-Koji

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Sorry, it might be too easy.
Just boil snap garden peas (snow pea will be good, too) and mix them with Shio-Koji.
No more instruction, but very yummy-.

It is good for starter.
Crispy and naturally sweet.
It’s the taste of the quality ingredients and shio-koji that make these dishes work.
How simple it is!!

Boil!
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Let them cool down.
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Now, Shio-koji!
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Then mix well.
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That’s all you do.
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Try with other veggies, too!

**************
For anyone who have no chance to purchase Shio-koji around you shop,
we can send it to you.
Just give us a message.
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Everyone loves ! Japanese handroll sushi

When family or friends gathered, we often have Temaki-zushi. (handroll sushi)
It is not a everyday’s food, that’s why it’s special!!
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It is a good meal for birthday party or when you have many people.
To me, it’s always fun memory food. Memory with fun conversation, laugh and smile.

Prepare ingredients, sushi rice, and then Itadakimasu!
Each one will make their favorite one.

Well then. I will show you from preparation.

Buy your favorites ingredients.
Popular ingredients are :
Sashimi, avocado, Natto, canned tuna, egg, cucumber, sliced cheese, shiso leaves …..
(Basically, whatever you like)

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This is optional, but I always put Shio-Koji around Sashimi (Tuna and Salmon) and leave them for a while.
(It’s a tip for having yummy sashimi)
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Start cutting ingredients.
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Prepare Negitoro. Negi means Spring onion or leek.
Toro menas fatty tuna.
Cut the Negi and chop with fatty tuna.

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Next! Natto~~. Stinky yummy Natto.
Mix with soy sauce and put them into small bawl.
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Canned tuna!
Mix it with mayonnaise.
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and??
Oh, don’t forget Sashimi.
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Cut all of your ingredients, and dish up nicely !!
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Prepare sushi rice.
Cook rice and mix with Sushi vinegar.
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Done! It look so shiny.
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Well everyone! Itadakimasu♪♪

Do you know how to make Temakizushi?
It’s easy. First, get Nori (seaweed on your plate)
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Then put some rice onto Nori.
Not too much, just a thin layer.
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Make it flat!
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Then put your favorite ingredient!
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Put it onto the rice.
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Then start rolling.
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And….just eat !!
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Here is another version.
Cheese and tuna.
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Te da~~.
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This little boy likes Tarako (Cod fish egg)
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If you like, you can enjoy wasabi soy sauce.
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Just like this.
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Other version!
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Of course, we have it with miso soup!
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As you can see, there is no rules in Temaki-zushi.
Just enjoy with family and friends!!!
Have fun!

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Grilled Salmon ~ Awesome Koji benefit !! ~

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Typical Japanese breakfast set !! Rice, Miso soup and grilled salmon.

This salmon is amazing! It is not just a grilled salmon.
It have to be marinated with Koji !!! (Ama-Koji or Shio-Koji)
The flavor will changed dramatically.

I cannot go back to normal salmon any more.

Why?
Koji is amazingly full of enzymes. It is often said “Koji is a mine of enzymes”.
One of the main enzyme in Koji is called “PROTEASE“.
This enzyme works for protein in food, such as salmon.
It makes food soft (one process of digestion).
The protein which was broke into small pieces converts to amino acid, which is Umami.

To shorten, Koji makes protein softer and yummier.

But! The Koji has to be raw, not the one with heat sterilisation,
because heat sterilisation will kill protease function of breaking down protein into small pieces.
Most of the Ama-Koji and Shio-Koji from shop in package are sold after heat treatment.
Therefore, you need to make your own one at home so that you can get all benefit from Koji.
(Here is how to make your Ama-Koji and Shio-Koji)

So if you have salmon at home, maybe try to marinate your salmon with row active Koji once.
Preparation is nothing compare to how yummy the salmon will be.

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At first, put the salt on the salmon and leave for a while.
Get rid of water/liquid from salmon. Wipe well.

Then place your salmon on the kitchen paper. Covered your salmon with it.
Put your Ama-Koji or Shio-Koji onto it.
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Then wrap it.
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Leave for over night at least in the fridge. Even 1 or 2 days.
You can even keep in freezer if you prepared a lot.

Just grill the marinated salmon !!
You will find the difference already when you are grilling. Smell beautiful.
But be careful, it will be burnt easily.
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Vegetarian Gyoza with Shoyu-Koji sauce

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Do you like Gyoza (Dumpling)? What about making Gyoza at home for tonight?
This is one of my best vegetarian gyoza among many trials.
This Shoyu-Koji sauce matches your gyoza very well.

Let’s make sauce first.
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Prepare Shoyu koji and lime. Lemon works as well.

Take some of Shoyu-Koji from your bottle and squeese lime.
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Then mix well. Done!
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Next!
Cut the vegetables.

Cabbage !
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Onion and carrot !
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Mushroom !
If you use dried mushroom, soak it in the water until it become soft.
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Put onion, cabbage and carrot into the pot.
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Add some Shio-Koji on top. Then steam it slowly.
This step makes vegetable very sweet.

Once it steamed, put them into the bowl.
Don’t forget the mushroom as well.
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Then add potato starch and mix well.
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If you like, you can add ginger and garlic into this.
I normally put ginger.

Now making gyoza process.
I use this skin. You can get it from any asian grocery shop.
This is Japanese one. I like the thickness.
It is thinner than Chinese one. You can use whichever you like.
I sometime make this skin from scratch, but today make it easy.

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Take one skin, and put water at the edge. (Half side)
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Put the steamed vegetable on the skin, just one spoon.
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Then wrap it.
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Once you prepared, pan fry them.
I use sesame oil.
At first, use litte bit of sesame oil.
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Place gyoza on the medium heat pan, then pour the boiling water.
Put the lid and steam it.
Once skin looks cooked, then take the lid off.
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Now pour sesame oil again, heat up the gas.
Just few min until the bottom part become crispy !!
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Enjoy when it nice and crispy.
It is amazingly sweet and tasty.
Dip in Shoyu-Koji sauce!!
I normally eat more than 10 !! Can’t stop for sure.
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Turnip Pickles ~Shio Koji magic~

For pickles lovers. It’s a Shio Koji magic pickles.
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Ingredients

Fresh turnip
Lemon
Honey
Shio Koji
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Cut the turnip
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Then mix all ingredients.
(I used plastic bag to mix and store the pickles…it’s good for picking)

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Shio Koji

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Lemon for flavor

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Mix well !!!!

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Done !
Taste become much nicer and deeper if you wait overnight.

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If you can get “Yuzu” which is Japanese citrus, it’s even better!!!
Enjoy easy healthy pickles ♪♪

Veggie & Baby Octopus Miso Stew

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Getting cold in Melbourne. Good season for stew.
What about nice and hot yummy stew for this weekend?

Prepare before band.
Dip octopus in Shio Koji over night or even 1 day.
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This step is not difficult, but make obvious taste and texture difference.
Shio Koji (Koji bacteria) makes octopus softer!!
Shio Koji (Koji bacteria) increase Umami in octopus. Means this octopus become yummier!!

Let’s start cooking Miso stew!
I tell you first, it is very easy !! Basically, just cut vegetables and cook in the pot!

First, make “Dashi”. Soup base.
No need to prepare everything thought.
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Konbu (Seaweed)
Shiitake mushroom
Bonito flakes
Small dried fish
Dried Daikon (White radish)

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This is Dried Daikon. ( It’s home made)

Put all in the pot and pour water. Soak them for 3 hours if you can.
(If you don’t have time, you don’t have to wait for 3 hours. Just start cooking straight away)
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Then cook over low flame.

While you are making Dashi soup, cut the vegetables. Then add all vegetable into the Dashi pot.

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Oh, and zucchini, too!!

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Add baby octopus as well!
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Add Miso paste.
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You can melt Miso in ladle.
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Cook for 45 min in low flame. Cook gently and slowly.
It goes well with both rice and bread.
Very soft octopus (thanks Shio Koji!). It is amazingly full of flavor.
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Shio Koji Preparation

Shio-Koji again!
But this time, Salt ratio is 30%!
Since I don’t have fridge right now, I think 30% is better.
(Less % is better if you can store it in the fridge)

Of course, the process is same as usual.
Koji!
(In Melbourne, Rice Koji can be available from Fuji Mart in South Yarra)

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Add salt !

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Mix well !

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And pour water !

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Then mix well again !

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Until it become like this !

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Put a lid and wait 1 week for fermante. During this week, mix once a day.
(Depend on the weather/seasons, fermante takes shorter or longer)

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Tamago-yaki ~Japanese Rolled Egg~

One of the most popular Japanese side dish (Okazu) for lunch box!
It’s Tamago-yaki.
Everyone loves it.
It adds nice colour into your lunch ♪
I make it with Mirin & Shio-Koji. Sometimes with Dashi, sometimes with sugar.
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It is not difficult to make!
Try for your tomorrow’s lunch.

Egg!

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Then add Shio-Koji (option)
I think, this Shio-koji makes Tamago-yaki taste yummy and mild,
but this is not essential!

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Then pour some Mirin ! This bring this Tamago-yaki nice and soft sweetness.

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Beat them well.

Then…
Oh, sometimes I add little bit of green bits.
Today, I had beans, so chopped them and added into egg.

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Prepare pan, pour little bit of oil and heat it.

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Then pour the egg into the pan.
First, pour half of egg.

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Then start rolling it !

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Then bring the rolled egg into your side.

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Start again! Pour rest of egg into the pan.

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and spread it all over the pan.

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Then start rolling again.

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Teda~~. Done!!

But if you make the rolled egg more nicely rolled shape,
you can use Makisu (rolling mat) !!
If your rolled egg didn’t go well, this rolling mat will fix it!
Try it when egg is still hot.

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Wait until it cools down, then open it !
See? Nice and rolled!

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Then cut whatever your size.
I normally cut for lunch box size.

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In lunch box, it looks like this.

Mmmmm, I need red or orange colour in this lunch box though.
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Or like this. Tamago-yaki is pretty popular thing in the lunch box.
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Sometimes we have this Tamago-yaki as breakie.
Here is a very standerd Japanese breakie. Of course, will be served with rice and miso soup !!

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Shio-Koji ~Salt Koji~

A miracle Japanese seasoning ….Shio Koji.
Have you heard of it? Have you used it already?
It is imported from Japan to Australia, you can find it in Asian grocery store.
(I found it at some store in Melbourne)
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You can get it from shops, but it is sooooooo good if you make it by your own.
You can get all the benefit of Koji bacteria from the one you made at home,
because you don’t have to heat treatment it, which means, all Koji bacteria and enzymes are active,
and work for your food and for your body!!!
Details will be introduced later :-p, but It brings you lots of benefits!!!

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It is so easy to make it, so why don’t you try?
What you need is…. Rice koji, Salt and water !!!
Salt can be 10% to 30% of Koji quantity.

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Prepare Koji and Salt as below.
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Then pour water.
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Then mix well.
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Leave it for 1 week (summer) to 2 weeks (winter).
During this period, you don’t need to put it into the fridge,
because it’s fermentation period~~~~!!!!

Mix it once a day. Add water if the paste seems too hard.
Taste a little every day. You will notice the taste changes.
At first, you feel strong salty taste, but gradually it become mild.
Also you can taste Umami, too.
When you taste Umami and mild saltiness, it is ready to use.
At this stage, it looks like this.
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Can you see the changes from the day you pour the water?
It fermente well!

Now, It’s better to keep it in fridge.
Your cooking range will expand by this Shio koji!!
Yummy recipes to use Shio koji will be introduced in this blog ♫
Enjoy cooking with koji !

Salmon tomato sauce pasta – Shio-Koji magic –

Easy yummy tomato sauce pasta!
Today, we use tinned Salmon and tomato.
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Tip for this dish is again, Shio-Koji (Salt Koji) !!

First, prepare Salmon and Shio-Koji.
Tuna is also good alternative for Salmon.

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Mix Salmon and Shio-Koji and leave it over night.

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Koji bacteria works a lot again.
This step makes Salmon yummier (change protein to Umami) and give more nutritious,
also get rid of fishy stinky small.

Let’s start making pasta.
Normal step as you always make. Olive oil and chopped garlic.

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Then put onion. Wait until onion become golden colour.

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Start boiling pasta in another pot at this stage.

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Then open tomato tin.

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Put Salmon (The one you mixed with Shio-Koji last night) and tomato in to the pan.

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Prepare Shio-Koji again, and add it to the sauce.
If you like, balsamic vinegar and black pepper is also good for this sauce.

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So quick! It is quick, but full of Umami yummy tomato sauce is ready now.

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Serve with pasta. Put basil leaves on top. Enjoy ♫
If you like creamy pasta, you can add fresh cream for this sauce.

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Scallop and Vegetable stir fry

This is one of my favorite mum’s dish.
Looks yummy, isn’t it? It is really taste good.
The tip is using “Shio-koji (Salt Koji)”
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Prepare any vegetable you like and chop them up.
Green leaves vegetable looks good.
I often cook with different vegetables,
but introduce ingredients for this photo shoots as example.

Pak choy
Bamboo root
Quail eggs
Scallops
Crab meat (option)
Shio- Koji (Salt Koji)

First, lightly stir marinaded scallop with “Shio-Koji” and set asaide.

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Then stir rest of vegetables. Pour bit of water.
Spread “Shio-koji (salt koji)” on the vegetables.

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Steam them until vegetable will be cooked.

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Now you can put previously cooked scallops back.

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Add dissolved potato starch to thick the soup.

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At the end, add canned crab meat (option).

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It also good as a hospitality dish. Everyone will love it.
Serve with rice.

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