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A favorite seasoning of Nordic chefs as well.

Hanamaruki's "Liquid Shio-Koji" inspires chefs around the world.

Feature / MovementNov. 22, 2017

text by Sakiko Jin / photographs by Gustav Karlsson

Japanese traditional fermented seasoning "shio-koji" is said to bring out the essential umami of any ingredient.

Hanamaruki's "Liquid Shio-Koji" has now drawn attention from chefs all over the world, as it has successfully been liquefied with its live enzymes intact through a special non-heat treatment! Top-class chefs using "Liquid Shio-Koji" in the U.S. and France have begun to highly appreciate its great qualities.

In an era when soy sauce and miso are regular items that can be found in many kitchens around the world, Liquid Shio-Koji has proven its abilities and inspired the creativity of chefs in Scandinavia. We talked to Andrew Jones, chef of "Barbro" in Sweden, about “ Liquid Shio-Koji”.


Chef Andrew Jones of "Barbro" in Sweden
After working for "East," an Asian restaurant in Stockholm, and "Yasuragi Hasseludden," the only teppanyaki (Japanese-style BBQ) restaurant in the Nordic countries as a chef, he opened the restaurant "Barbro" with three partners in November, 2011.




The charm of Liquid Shio-Koji is its soft, salty taste with umami

“I first encountered shio koji when I visited Japan four years ago. The Swedish president of a sake importer who accompanied me to Japan took me to a sake brewery, which gave me a taste of raw shio koji. At that time, I could not obtain a sufficient amount of it for use at my restaurant, and I used up the shio koji just by pickling fish or something once or twice. I didn’t try to obtain more, as I expected it to be very hard to obtain raw shio koji here in Sweden.




“However, a wholesale firm of Japanese foodstuff introduced me Hanamaruki’s Liquid Shio-Koji two years ago, and I gradually began to use it in my work. I love the seasoning because it has a soft saltiness rather than a sharp saltiness, with a hint of sweetness and umami, and I use it by mixing it with other seasoning or herbs for dressings or sauces.

"I feel that Liquid Shio-Koji creates a special effect not only in flavoring, but also enhancing the taste of other ingredients. So I'm going to try marinating fish or pickling vegetables besides seasoning.”



Hanamaruki Liquid Shio-Koji is excellent with ginger


"Restaurant Barbro mainly serves Japanese-style meals, incorporating Swedish seasonal ingredients. For example, tuna tartar is garnished with kohlrabi pickles, deep-fried kale, or oxalis according to the seasons.

"For Yellowtail amberjack arriving from the west coast of Sweden, essential accompaniment are green onions and ginger. Interestingly, these two, especially ginger, go perfectly with Liquid Shio-Koji. Since very good quality organic ginger has become available throughout the year recently, I always make fresh sauce with ginger grated-to-order. “



Making sauce based on fish fat


“Asian restaurants that I used to work for used flavor enhancers or MSG, but Liquid Shio-Koji can give us a more natural umami feel for the same dish.

“In addition, the liquid style is easier to use, being adjustable to any kind of dishes, and can keep for a long time like soy sauce or vinegar. If this is raw koji, it may not be easy like this to introduce.

“Now I really enjoy discovering which Liquid Shio-Koji-based sauce is the most suitable for the fat of each fish, like this sauce is for tuna tartar, and that one for yellowtail amberjack.”






Dishes featuring Hanamaruki Liquid Shio-Koji by
Chef Andrew Jones of "Barbro," Sweden

Tuna tartar with Liquid Shio-Koji sauce

Since the red part of tuna has little fat, we add richness to the taste of the tuna with smoked-miso mayonnaise in addition to a sauce made with Hanamaruki Liquid Shio-Koji. We also add texture like Japanese turnips or daikon radishes with kohlrabi pickled in vinegar.

[Ingredients]
Tuna
Kohlrabi pickled in vinegar 
Kale deep-fried without breading or batter
Furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)
Smoked-miso mayonnaise
Green onions
Seasonal herbs
……Prepare the appropriate amount of all ingredients above.

<Sauce (Relative ratio)>
Hanamaruki Liquid Shio-Koji……1
White soy sauce……1
Sushi vinegar……0.8
Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)……Small amounts

[Recipe]
1 Dice tuna and kohlrabi pickled in vinegar into small pieces.
2 Mix all ingredients for the sauce, then add and mix finely chopped green onions.
3 Add and mix #1 above and put in a dish, then pour the sauce of #2 over it.
4 Put smoked-miso mayonnaise around tuna tartar in about three places.
5 Also drizzle over with the smoked-miso mayonnaise and garnish with kale and seasonal herbs




Sashimi of yellowtail amberjack with Liquid Shio-Koji sauce

Put plenty of grated ginger on moderately fatty yellowtail amberjack. Enjoy the harmony between the Hanamaruki Liquid Shio-Koji sauce mixed with the relatively high rate of vinegar, soy sauce and mirin, and the sashimi (sliced raw fish).

[Ingredients]
Yellowtail amberjack
Green onions
Ginger
Seasonal herbs
……Prepare the appropriate amount of all ingredients above.

<Sauce (Relative ratio)>
Hanamaruki Liquid Shio-Koji……1
White soy sauce……3
Mirin……3
Sushi vinegar……2

Recipe
1 Slice yellowtail amberjack for sashimi.
2 Mix all ingredients for the sauce.
3 Finely chop green onions and grate ginger, then add them to the sauce of #2 above and mix.
4 Arrange yellowtail amberjack on dish, pour over the sauce of #3 and garnish with seasonal herbs.





◎ "Barbro," Stockholm, Sweden
Hornstulls Strand 13, 11739 Stockholm
Tel 08-550 602 66
Tuesday-Thursday 17:00-23:00
Friday & Saturday 17:00-00:30
Sunday 17:00-21:00
Closed on Mondays, and public holidays (irregularly)





What is Hanamaruki Liquid Shio-Koji?

Hanamaruki Liquid Shio-Koji is made taking rice malt that has been aged with salt and then carefully compressing into a liquid. You can enjoy the same effect as with conventional shio koji as well as greater ease of use, such as the "still active enzymes" thanks to their non-heat-treatment, which benefits the flavor and texture of ingredients.



Contact for the product:
◎ Hanamaruki Foods Inc.

(Free Dial)0120-870780
9:00-17:30 (Closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays)









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