I hope that your interest in the world of koji is in full throttle since the introduction of shio koji and shoyu koji. Here, I would like to share this easy pickled cucumber with shoyu koji recipe. It uses shoyu koji as a pickling agent.
In Japanese, this recipe is called きゅうりの醤油糀浅漬け or kyūri no shōyu kōji asazuke. It’s a type of tsukemono (Japanese preserved vegetables) called shoyukojizuke 醤油糀漬け/醤油麹漬け which utilizes shoyu koji to pickle the ingredient(s). Because pickling cucumber takes a short amount of time (ready in a few hours), this type of pickling method is called asazuke 浅漬け.
You’ll love this pickled cucumber with shoyu koji! ❤️❤️❤️
24cm long Japanese cucumber (kyuri) and bird’s eye chili. If you’re using a way larger or smaller size cucumber, you would need to adjust the amount of shoyu koji. Feel free to substitute regular red chili for bird’s eye chili one to one.
Wash the cucumber and slice to about 3cm-5cm thickness. Then, cut it into a half-circle. You want the cucumber to be thickly sliced when used for pickling because you want to have the crunch even after the cucumber liquid has seeped out and the cucumber has reduced in size.
Place sliced Japanese cucumber into a large bowl. Then add sliced deseeded bird’s eye chili and shoyu koji. If you want it to be very spicy, don’t remove the seeds.
Mix it up with your hand or spoons. I always go for the former. Refrigerate for 2 hours and then mix it one more time to ensure the shoyu koji coats the cucumber evenly. It’s ready to eat after refrigerating for an hour more.
It’s best to eat it chill on the day it’s pickled. The next day, the pickled cucumber will shrink further and lose more of its crunchiness. Before serving, you can remove the shoyu koji+cucumber liquid if you prefer, but not me, and then repurpose it. It’s too wasteful to discard the liquid mixture as it contains the beneficial living enzymes.
The 3 teaspoons of shoyu koji recommended in this recipe has just the right saltiness (pre-pickle). Once the water from the cucumber is released and dilutes the shoyu koji a few hours later, the overall taste will be milder. if you prefer a saltier result, you can add more shoyu koji anytime.
This is pickled cucumber with shoyu koji after pickling for +3 hours. The cucumber slices have taken on the color of shoyu koji. Taste-wise, it’s mildly salty (cucumber liquid dilutes the shoyu koji), nutty, savory (umami) and sweet. This is all thanks to the power of the enzymes in the shoyu koji.
When you bite into a piece of the pickled cucumber, you can feel how refreshing, crunchy and spicy it is and you will automatically go for more and more. It’s that good that just eating it with a bowl of rice is satisfying enough. I’ve paired this pickle with rice plus other side dishes, kimbap and noodles and they are awesome.
Pickled Cucumber With Shoyu Koji きゅうりの醤油糀浅漬け
24cm long kyuri (Japanese cucumber), sliced 3cm-5cm thick half-circle shape
1 bird’s eye chili, deseeded and sliced
3 teaspoons shoyu koji
1. Place washed and sliced Japanese cucumber, bird’s eye chili and shoyu koji in a large bowl. Mix well so that the shoyu koji coat the cucumber evenly.
2. Refrigerate for 2 hours. After 2 hours, mix the pickles again for even distribution of the shoyu koji.
3. Refrigerate for one more hour and it’s ready. Serve chill as is or remove the shoyu koji+cucumber liquid before serving. Best eaten on the same day. Perfect with rice, noodles and sushi. The cucumber liquid can be used for rice and noodles too.