Japan Eats

Recipe: Sautéed buri (yellowtail) marinated in shio-kouji

Enhance a dish’s flavor with shio-kouji.

Shio-kouji has a long history as a method for enhancing a dish’s flavor. It has recently come back into fashion, no doubt due to it’s versatility – it adds umami to just about anything. Shio-kouji makes an excellent marinade for fish (cod or salmon) pork, chicken or even vegetables. Here, we’re using it to marinade yellowtail, but as we’re coming into spring, a good alternative would be Spanish mackerel.

Sautéed yellowtail

Sautéed yellowtail


  • 300 g kome-kouji
  • 90 g salt
  • 2 slices of yellowtail (about 100g per  slice)
  • 3 tablespoons shio-kouji
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Pickled ginger (garnish)

Method (shio-kouji)

Prepare the shio-kouji 1 – 2 weeks ahead of time. Add 90 grams of salt to 300 grams of kome-kouji (rice kouji – essentially rice to which the kouji spores have been attached). Mix well then place in a container with enough water to cover the rice. Leave the container out of the fridge, stirring once a day.

Method (Sautéed yellowtail)

Remove any extra moisture from both sides of the yellow tail with kitchen paper. Next, place the fish in a clean plastic bag and coat  with the shio-kouji. Leave it in the fridge overnight (or for a minimum of 3 – 4 hours).

Pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil into a frying pan and spread it evenly with kitchen paper. Sautée the side of the fish with skin on a low to medium heat until it becomes brown. Flip the fish over and cook the other side slowly on a low heat (lid on) for 6 – 7 minutes. Serve with pickled ginger.

About Mieko


4 Responses to “Recipe: Sautéed buri (yellowtail) marinated in shio-kouji”
  1. Eminarita2002 says:

    I have been looking for ways to use shio koji, so I’m glad I found this. Please list more recipes using shio koji. Emi

  2. Hi Emi,
    Happy to hear you liked the recipe for yellowtail marinated in shio-kouji. We’ll try and post more recipes using this marinade soon. In the meantime, stay-tuned for the next Japan Eats Podcast where we discuss shio-kouji in detail.

  3. Kate Yonezawa says:

    This looks really delicious. I live in Saiki in Kyushu where Kojiya Honten is located. Myoho Asari, the woman behind the current trend, is the proprietress there. They have an English website- http://www.kojiya.jp with lots of recipes, and information about koji, shio-koji and amazaké. Check it out.

  4. Jpotts says:

    That’s fantastic that Kojiya Honten popped up in the comments!  Myoho-san is actually hosting a shio-kouji workshop in Roppongi mid-June if anyone is interested!  (English & Japanese!)


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