Growing koji on meat or coating meat with koji? That is the question.
It seems like that growing koji on meat to mature it in shorter time is being global trend. Although it certainly stimulates my nosy personality, I have been wondering how it is different from simply coating meat with koji powder. Shouldn’t it work in the same way? And doesn’t it achieve the same effect in easier and safer way?
I assume that the main purpose of growing koji on meat is to let it produce protease (protein degrading enzyme) during its growth and then let the protease work on meat to draw umami. If my assumption is correct, I thought I should be able to have similar, if not same, effect by coating meat with koji powder. So as an experimental freak, I decided to give it a go.
My first experiment (ribeye and fillet)
I first purchased two pieces of meat, beef ribeye and beef fillet and coat them with soybean koji powder. I used soybean koji as it is much more protease-oriented than rice koji. I wrapped the meat with cling film and leave them to rest for a few days in fridge to see what effect koji has on them.
However, I realised I have chosen a wrong portion! Ribeye and fillet are both softer and tastier portion and even without koji it is tasty anyway (so koji’s capability won’t be apparent).