Grilled Salmon seasoned with Shio-koji (Salted Rice Malt)

Salt-grilled salmon or Teriyaki salmon are quite common at the Japanese restaurant. However, if you are a salmon lover, why don’t you try this simple recipe bringing out the true taste of salmon, easily cooked without failure by anyone!

Homemade Shio-koji

-What is Shio-koji?

Shio-koji, fermented seasoning made from natural salt, water and malted rice, An all-purpose seasoning used in Japan for centuries. A rich resource of enzymes that break down proteins, to pull Umami flavor out and tenderize meats and fishes.

Ingredients(per person)

Salmon filet - 160g

Shio-koji – two tablespoons


Step 1. Preliminary preparation

Place salmon filet into a plastic bag with zip, and marinate it with Shio-koji. Leave it in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours (it is ok for you to let it rest overnight. It won’t be salty at all).

1. Salmon 160g

2. Put a slice of salmon into a plastic bag with zip

3. Add two table spoons of Shio-koji onto a salmon

4. Leave it in the refrigerator more than 5 hours

Step 2. Cook in an oven

1. Preheat an oven to 180℃.

2. Crumple and lay out the baking sheet and place it on the baking tray (it makes it easier to clean because the salmon oil won’t spill out).

3. Take the salmon filet out and wipe off any excess marinade with a paper towel.

4. Place the salmon skin side up on the sheet. Put the tray into the oven (the middle rack), and start grilling. Cooking time is about 10-15 minutes (it is up to your oven). Please cover up with a foil sheet to prevent it from burning, as required.

Place the tray into the oven

Check well to avoid burning


Step 2-2. Cook on a pan

1. Crumple the baking sheet and place it on the pan.

2. Take the salmon filet out and wipe off any excess marinade with a paper towel.

3. Heat the pan by medium fire until hot. Set the salmon skin side down on the sheet and start sauteing. Once the salmon skin turns to brown color (about 2-3 minutes), turn it over, cover it and cook until done with a small flame (about 4-5 minutes).

Step 3. Dish up

Serve on a plate with your favorite garnish.

Japanese prefer to have grated white radish with grilled fish. Grated radish has a bactericidal effect, breaks down lipids and enhances digestion. Also, it helps remove carcinogens out and refresh our mouth after eating fishes.

Prepare White radish around 50-100g per person

Peel off

Grate radish

Let the water drain off

*Alternatively (if you do not find Shio-koji), you can use Miso-paste (two tablespoons) + honey, agave syrup or brown sugar (one tablespoon). Miso is also helpful to draw the Umami flavor out.

The cooking process is exactly the same as above. Please note that it is easier to burn than when using Shio-koji. Please check the oven constantly.

Miso + Agave syrup

Two table spoon of Miso and one table spoon of Agave syrup

Mix Miso and Agave

Marinate salmon with Miso + Agave

Leave the seasoned salmon in the refrigerator more than 5 hours

Take the salmon out from bag and wipe off all excess

Place on the tray and start grilling in the oven, after the oven heated up. Easy to be burned, please cover up with foil sheet as required

Done and dish up!


  • Shio-koji may contain alcohol as a stabilizer when you buy it at a grocery store.

  • You can also make Shio-koji with simple steps.

Example of dishing -One plate style

Example of dishing 2 - Make flakes and mix with rice


How to make Shio-koji


Dry(granular) type of Rice Koji (malted rice) 300g

Prepare dry type Koji-rice (malted rice)

Natural salt 90g



In a lidded container, combine Koji and salt, breaking up any clumps of koji either with clean hands or a spoon. Add water until it covers Koji + salt, and stir until mixture is well-combined and salt is dissolved. When all water is absorbed, add water repeatedly about 5mm above the ingredients.

*This type of container is suitable to make Shio-koji

  1. Cover the container with lid and set aside to ferment at room temperature. Stir mixture once per day throughout this fermentation process until koji mixture is thickened and smells sweet or funky, at least 5 days or up to 7 days here in Malaysia. Once Shio-koji is fermented, transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use. Shio-koji can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 months (in Malaysia).

Cooked after 5days later (in Malaysia)

Note: The liquid color would be upon koji used. Sometimes turning to brown as this, the other time just white. Any color is fine for cooking.

After cooked, put into a bottle and store in refrigerator. When you use shake it well.

*Malted rice is available online.

Shio-koji sample- One of Shio-koji product at a supermarket (Japanese grocery corner)