Shio Koji

Shio Koji in short means “ Salt Koji.” You take koji, salt, and water and let it sit for around 10 days. What I find most interesting about the Shio Koji process is that salt actually kills the Aspergillus oryzae. Lucky for us, it’s enzymes remain and when you throw into the mix the carbohydrates and sugars that exist in grains and by creating the right fermentation environment you are able to grow some solid bacteria. What does this mean for us? We have this amazingly tasty, umami, bacterial goodness that we can use to create other fermentations or secondary fermentations.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite uses for Shio Koji:

  • Shio Koji cured meat

  • Shio koji in handmade pasta (a lovely trick we learned from Ourcookquest)

  • Sauces & Marinades

  • An alternative for soy sauce

  • Alternative ways to make pickles

Here’s our recipe for Shio Koji :

2 cups koji

2 cups water

1/8 cup salt

Mix together well and move to a jar with a finger tight lid. Let it sit in a cool and dark place for 10-12 days. Every day you’ll want to stir or shake the mixture. When it’s complete you can opt to blend the mixture or leave it in it’s original state and then move it to the fridge. Shio Koji can be used for 6 month from the date of making — so make sure you date it.


Fermented Apple Pear Sauce

When I was a kid at basically every dinner there would be either applesauce or apple butter on the table. The apple butter usually came from the Amish farm or the local apple farm, and the applesauce...well, Mott's was what we had.

Thinking about my love of applesauce and over the years of hauling home a huge CSA loot of apples and pears I started making a slow cooker Apple Pear Sauce somewhere around September. Always the maker and always the person wanting to re-invent things I decided that this year we would do a few batches of Fermented Apple Pear Sauce to add to our fall goodies...promptly followed by Apple Cider Vinegar, Hard Cider, Cyszar, and a fall Apple Kraut.

Here's our recipe for our Fermented Apple Pear Sauce. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have!


  • 5 medium apples and 2-3 medium pears
  • 2 Tbsp. water kefir
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  1. Chop apples and pears into chunks. Optional is to peel them -- we like them with peels on with the cores removed. Throw them into a food processor and blend until you get your desired consistency.
  2. Mix in water kefir, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Transfer to a quart jar, leave room for the ferment to do it's thing, we suggest 1 inch (or at the curve of the jar).
  4. Cover the jar with a cloth, lid, airlock, pickle pipe, or whatever method of your choosing.
  5. Ferment for 1-3 days until you reach a flavor and texture that you like. We suggest tasting it daily to see how the flavor profile changes daily. It's really the best way to learn how you like your ferments! Once you like the flavor, put a lid on the jar, and store in the fridge. We suggest eating within 1-2 months.