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Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish

Shio koji tuna poke

Shio koji tuna poke
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

The latest trendy cooking ingredient in Japan is a fungus. And that fungus is spreading. Professional and home cooks in Japan are crazy for it, and it's flying off the shelves at Japanese markets in the U.S. too. They're using ... Read more

Total time: 15 minutes | Serves 4

Shio koji

  • 1 1/2 cups koji
  • 4 2/3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup water

Step 1Place koji in a medium non-reactive bowl or container and add sea sea.

Step 2Mix thoroughly and vigorously, using your hands.

Step 3Heat water to 140 degrees; add just enough to moisten.

Step 4Knead till fragrant. Mix in rest of hot water.

Step 5Store loosely covered for 1 week at room temperature. When ready, the koji rice grains will be smaller; mixture will have consistency of loose porridge. Refrigerate covered for up to 6 months.

Shio koji tuna poke

  • 10 ounces sashimi-grade tuna, cut in a large dice
  • 2 tablespoons shio koji
  • 2 small avocados
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • A couple of sprigs of dill, one finely chopped and the remainder for garnish
  • Prepared wasabi (optional)

Step 1Place the tuna in a large bowl and mix in the shio koji so that it's evenly distributed. Set aside.

Step 2Peel, seed and cut the avocados into a large dice and sprinkle with just enough lemon juice to coat so that it doesn't discolor. Add the diced avocado to the tuna mixture. Add dill and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture into four bowls. Garnish each serving with a small sprig of dill and wasabi if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: From Myoho Asari of Kojiya in Saiki, Japan. Koji (such as Cold Mountain brand) can be bought at select Japanese markets. Make shio koji several days ahead of this recipe. Prepared shio koji also can be bought at select Japanese markets.


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