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TK Brown - Blog

Koji Infused Tri-Tip Steak

Background #

Koji (Aspergillus Oryzae) inoculated rice is a key ingredient in the production of various complex foods and beverages - sake, miso, shoyu, and many others. In this post I'll show how koji inoculated rice can increase tenderness and infuse unique notes various cuts of steak. See my previous post for instructions on producing your own batch of fresh koji inoculated rice.

Equipment #

Ingredients #

Steak Prep #

Unpackage steak and plate, patting dry as unnecessary.

Koji Coat #

Fresh (or frozen fresh) koji inoculated rice has a paste like consistency as opposed to dry packaged koji which retains the grain structure of rice for shipment - spread the paste evenly across the entire steak leaving no exposed surfaces.

It would be quite costly to provide the same amount of coverage with purchased dry koji; if going this route, the technique is to grind the dried grains to a powdery consistency then lightly and evenly dust all surfaces. Not my preferred method, but if no frozen fresh stock is on hand it works in a pinch.

Koji coating

Age #

Plate the coated steak and place uncovered in the refrigerator for 48 hours - uncovered. Large cuts such as brisket (15+ lbs) can go to 72 hours.

Remove Koji #

Remove the koji inoculated rice and then briefly rinse the steak under a faucet to remove residues. Pat dry with paper towels.

Season and Cook #

Season and cook in accordance with your favorite technique. I enjoy a coating of Diamond kosher salt with searing in a cast iron pan followed by temping in an oven.

Enjoy! #

Increased tenderness is a given though depending on the base rice, strain, and culturing technique of the koji, various flavors will be noted. The steak pictured below had hints of banana, shoyu, nuts, and umami - definitely ate a bit more than I needed!

Finished steak