First, let me give credit where credit’s due; and by
“credit,” I mean possible blame. I got the idea from this article in Bon Appetit,
where they showed how to use koji rice to simulate dry aging a steak.
They say they borrowed the idea from Trentina chef, Jonathon Sawyer, and we’ll
take them at their word.
Anyway, I tried it out, and had mixed results. The smell and
flavor were vaguely reminiscent of dry-aged beef, but it didn’t have those same
cheesy/funky/earthy background notes. As far as the texture goes, there was no
difference from a regular steak, and it may have even given it a somewhat
That may have come from letting it go almost three days,
instead of two, but hey, I was within the range. Besides, I’m not even sure
anything happened. The idea here is that the fungus on the koji rice, which
breaks down the proteins in beans, to make things like miso, would work the
same magic on a steak.
While it did look like the koji had “bloomed” a bit, and
there was more “white stuff” at the end of the process, there was no obvious
signs that the meat had been “broken down.” The appearance was darker, and it kind
of had that waxy look of dry aged meat, but that could’ve simply come from
sitting uncovered in the fridge.
I found it a bit suspicious that there were no other posts regarding
this online, but maybe it’s just too new. Time will tell. I’m looking at you, food blogger. In the meantime,
any and all feedback is welcomed, especially if you are familiar with using
koji rice. I’m not sure if you should give this a try, but, as always, enjoy!