Koji-Brined Pork Shoulder
Shio koji is a fermented mixture of grain inoculated with mold (koji), water and salt that is used in marinades and brines. Chef Ben Bebenroth of Cleveland's Spice Catering loves how it gives this pork shoulder recipe funky umami flavor, while also helping to tenderize the meat. Miso, which also contains koji, is an easier-to-find substitute. Serve with Ginger Pickled Carrots (see Associated Recipe)--their acidity balances the richness of the dish.
To make ahead
Brine pork (Step 1) for up to 36 hours.
Primarily used as a marinade, shio koji has a similar taste to sake or miso, all of which contain the Japanese fermenting agent koji, usually made from rice. Purchase prepared shio koji at Asian markets or online. If you buy the powdered version, prepare it according to the package instructions before using it in this recipe.