This is part four of a series on making sake at home, part one is here.
Once our moto was in the fridge, we had ten whole days in our sake-making adventure to twiddle our thumbs, wonder if it was all going to work, and put our koji to some other uses.
Koji ends up in all sorts of foods, fermented or no: soy sauce, miso, even as a seasoning. Both soy and miso are very long-term projects (sometimes they are made over multiple years) but when I saw one of my favourite foodies Brad Leone using koji to ‘age’ meats, I knew I had a project to try.
The concept is totally straightforward: blitz some koji rice in a high powered blender, use it to coat a steak, and ‘age’ the steak uncovered in the fridge for two or three days.
Brad is for real here: the steak was more tender, rich, umami, more everything after just 72 hours. A dark crust formed almost immediately and stayed crisp, even on our rare and rested steak. The relatively cheap cut tasted expensive, and was easy to slice and serve over (you guessed it) sushi rice.
One note: my blender is great, but it’s not the professional level of great that Brad’s is. I couldn’t get all my rice to turn to a fine powder, but I could get enough powder out of a handful or so of rice, to coat the steak just fine.