Hey there. It's been a long time again!! It's a pity I've hardly had a chance to post my bento lately, but you can check out on Tumblr and Flickr if you miss stuff I've made that much, hehee.
Today, not a bento, but I'm going to write how to increase shiokoji. Lately shiokoji has come to stay in many Japanese kitchens as one of everyday-seasonings along with shoyu, miso. This time I'm going to omit to write about the use and effect of shiokoji because you can easily find it if you google. My post about making shiokoji is here if you haven't checked it out yet.
Shiokoji is a very useful seasoning/condiment, I consume it so fast. I thought that I would have to make it very often, and since komekoji (the base of shiokoji) was fermented rice grains I might be able to increase my shiokoji using rice, like how I made yogurt. With it, I wouldn't have to buy komekoji anymore. Not to mention I tried out that idea and it worked!
This is my shiokoji made out of rice, ready to be used.
Before use I smooth my shiokoji in the food processor. Shiokoji made with rice is more grainy than normal one is, so this process makes it much handier with the smooth texture. It will work on normal one as well, so you should use a food processor or blender before using your shiokoji for cooking, but of course you can skip it if you don't have those machines.
After smoothing I put my shiokoji in a jar to save for my cooking, leaving some in the food processor for the next batch.
Now it's time to make the next batch with the rest of the shiokoji! You wouldn't have to go buy komekoji every time. All you need to prepare are salt and cooked rice besides shiokoji. I feel kind of bad for those komekoji makers promoting komekoji by introducing shiokoji cooking on TV or food magazines teehee.
About the same amount of cooked rice as three times of the shiokoji by eye at most, room temperature, not stale
The same amount of salt as 12% weight of the cooked rice at least
I know, that sounds complicated. For example...
3 tablespoon salt for 400 gram cooked rice,
or about 3 and 1/2 tablespoon salt for 1 pound cooked rice,
and it's fine if there is enough shiokoji to soak the rice grains in without air.
Does that sound alright??
Mix the ingredients together using a food processor or stick blender, or you can mix well with a spoon or something instead. At this point the rice is still grainy and not as smooth, but the mincing helps it ferment faster. Although it doesn't call for any water, if needed, you can add a little. In that case, don't forget to add 12% salt for the water, which would be a tiny bit.
Then put the mixture in a clean container, ferment it in a warm room stirring once a day for 4 - 10 days depending on the room temperature, until it's like oatmeal or more soupy.
Then go back to the first photo. That is the way it turns out.
This recipe, come up with by me who is not a professional or anything in that field. I don't think it's a perfectly certain or the best way. Mind you, with this way if your shiokoji turns out strange-looking/smelling/tasting compared to the usual, never use it! Good one generally smells like bread dough or kind of fruity. During the ferment if you forget to stir shiokoji for a few days, stuff like white mold may appear on the surface of it, but no worries, it's a sort of yeasts which it's okay even if you eat. However, it's unnecessary in shiokoji so you can scoop it up and throw away, and then stir well the rest. Anyway my Rice-shiokoji chan survived all in one piece the insanely hot and looong summer last year lol! I didn't even put it in the fridge but stirred everyday. I guess, as I wrote above, it needs at least 12% salt to keep bad bugs away from growing in shiokoji. Also, I say, adding some komekoji once in a while may help keep it in good condition for a long time if you feel uneasy.
I will be showing my favorite sauces with shiokoji next time!