Butternut Squash Rolls

Shio koji is a fantastic marinade for vegetables. This recipe shows how it can be used to enhance the flavour of butternut squash; creating a dish which can be eaten both hot and cold. These delicious rolls can be stuffed with a filling of your choice and then used for lunch or as part of a larger meal.

Butternut Squash Rolls

A delicious savoury dish with can be served either hot or cold, as a main dish with yoghurt or as an accompaniment to a main dish.  
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 day 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 4


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 100 ml Umami Chef Filtered Shio koji
  • 400g Leek and Sage Risotto


  • Cut the bottom (the bit with seeds) off a medium to large butternut squash.  As we are going to use the top half only in this recipe, you are free to use the bottom half as you wish.
  • Remove the skin with a sharp knife or peeler
  • Slice finely longways, ending up with pieces of even thickness.
  • Marinate the butternut squash in Umami Chef® Shio Koji for 4 hours, turning once mid-way through.  Interleave the slices with herbs of your choice, we used bay leaves in this case as they marry well with the stuffing.
  • Drain the marinated slices, put flat on a baking tray and dry uncovered in a cool place for approx. 4 hours until shiny.
  • Meanwhile, make the filling. We made a leek and sage risotto, but you could use whatever vegetables you wished, or fish or chicken so long as cooked before it goes into the roll. Note: bring risotto just to al dente as the cooking continues when in the roll.
    To fill and roll, simply take a slice, heap up filling across the middle and roll up, pushing the mixture firm from both ends.
  • Allow a centimetre overlap of roll underneath, which aids their stability in cooking.  Note: the amount of filling varies depending on the size of the roll – we used 2 – 2½teaspoons per slice.
  • Gently place the filled rolls in a baking dish, add salt-free vegetable stock up to approx ¼ ofthe roll, cover and place in a 150°C oven for 10-15 minutes depending on their size, then uncover the rolls and cook for a further 5 mins to dry out the top surface a little.

Mushroom Crackers – Vegan Alternative to Prawn Crackers

Mushroom Cracker

These vegan alternative to prawn crackers taste delicious! They require a bit of effort to make, but are well worth it for the knowledge they contain no colours or preservatives. 

The addition of shio koji means that these vegan crackers are just as delicious as the prawn version.


Mushroom Crackers

Vegan alternative to prawn crackers
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time7 minutes
Dehydrate12 hours
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: crackers


  • Dehydrator
  • Steamer
  • Deep fryer
  • Food Processor


  • 200 g chestnut mushroom
  • 150 ml shio koji approx 7% salt content
  • 75 g red onion
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 400 g Tapioca Flour
  • 100 ml water


  • Blend mushrooms, onion, shio koji and pepper to a puree
  • Add tapioca flour and water and mix
  • Place a layer of cling film onto a baking tray. Pour in a thin later of the mixture, then use a second layer of cling film to create as thin a layer of batter as possible
  • Steam for 7 minutes
  • Gently peel off the cling film
  • Place in a dehydrator and dehydrate until sheet is so brittle it snaps easily (mine took 12 hours at 50'C) Note: The bottom corners of this sheet are too thick, for the perfect cracker it should be transparent at this stage. Thick bits can still be fried, but they aren't as light and crispy.
  • Break the sheet into pieces (this sheet shows desired transparency)
  • Deep fry at 170'C until crackers puff and rise to the surface. Drain on a piece of kitchen towel and enjoy!
    Mushroom Cracker

Wild Garlic Preserved in Simmered Shio Koji

Wild garlic in shio koji

A twist on the Korean, Kkaennip Jorim – which normally uses perilla leaves. This version uses wild garlic, but you could use other similar leaves – like spinach, chard or the original perilla leaves.

I also used strained shio koji instead of soy sauce – creating a gluten free, soy free side dish. Strained shio koji is obtained by filtering out the rice solids from shio koji. This can be done with a strainer or filter, to produce a clear liquid. You could use a light soy sauce instead.

The finished product is a delicious side dish. Perfect simply served with plain boiled rice, or with a range of other Korean dishes.

Wild Garlic Preserved in Simmered Shio Koji

A twist of the Korean side dish Kkaennip Jorim, this side dish uses wild garlic instead of perilla leaves.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
2 days
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: shio koji, wild garlic
Servings: 10


  • 150 ml strained shio koji Remove the rice solids from shio koji with a filter/strainer to create a clear liquid. Or use a light soy sauce.
  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 cm ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Korean chilli flakes
  • 200 g wild garlic


  • Add all the ingredients, except the wild garlic to a sauce pan and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Leave to cool
  • Transfer to a jar and then add the wild garlic
  • Add a weight, to ensure nothing floats above the surface
    Wild garlic in shio koji
  • Leave for at least two days, then enjoy as a side dish

Use Shio Koji to Make The Best Fried Chicken Ever!

More Tender, More Delicious, More Juicy

Shio koji has the ability to tenderise meat, whilst at the same time adding a depth of flavour. This means if you use it to marinade chicken you can create the tastiest chicken nuggets you’ve ever eaten!

The fantastic thing about shio koji is that it doesn’t alter the taste of the chicken – it just makes it taste more “chickeny!”  It adds a depth of savoury flavour (umami) that is irresistible.

The salt in the shio koji has the added benefit of brining the chicken at the same time – making the meat juicier.

The Science Behind It

Koji has the ability to break down the proteins in the chicken, converting them into a range of amino acids which are especially delicious. This breaking down of the proteins also makes the meat more tender.

First Make Shio Koji

To make shio koji, just mix:
Blend to form a smooth paste.
It can then be used immediately, or left to ferment for one week to improve the flavour. 

Adapt the Recipe to Your Taste

The nuggets are delicious without adding herbs and spices to the breadcrumbs, but you can adapt this recipe to use your favourite blends. It works equally well with the KFC blend of spices as it does with a Japanese karaage chicken.

Get Experimenting!

You can’t really go wrong with fried chicken – it tastes delicious whichever spices you decide to use!

Shio Koji Fried Chicken

Chicken marinated in shio koji and then breadcrumbed and deep fried for a succulent fried chicken,
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Marinade Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: chicken, shio koji


  • 500 g Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces For best results we recommend chicken thigh, but wings, or even breast meat can be used.
  • 100 ml Shio Koji
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 100 g breadcrumbs You can use gluten free bread, if required
  • 100 g plain flour


  • Mix the chicken pieces with the shio koji until they are evenly coated.
  • Cover and leave to marinade in a fridge for at least 8 hours
  • Remove the chicken from the shio koji and dip each piece in the flour, then the egg, then finally the breadcrumbs
  • Fry the chicken pieces in a deep fat fryer until golden on the outside and cooked through.