Steak+Koji+SousVide=YUM

I have been doing more research and some of the concepts seem to be a bit more than my wife is likely to handle. However I bought a copy of the “Noma Guide to Fermentation” and it brings forth many great ideas; as should a cookbook from a restaurant that has been ranked one of the best in the world a few times. One top of that as I have been digging around in the University of YouTube searching for ideas, I came across a video on Koji Sous Vide Steak.  While the video is a bit obnoxious, I liked the idea and ordered some Koji Rice on Amazon. It is made by: http://www.isesou.co.jp/kouji/index.shtml

I broke off  1/4 of one of the packages and ran it through the blender to break it up.   I should have worn a face mask, as the dust / spores rose up as I took the lid off, even after letting it settle a couple of minutes. The koji rice has a pleasant sweet flavor as is.

The roughly broken rice grains were then applied to the steak. I had a 3 lb rib-eye with bone (a good 3″ thick).  Once the rice was applied on all sides, it was zip lock bagged and placed in the fridge  for 48 hours (no need for vacuum bag at this point).  It was turned every 8-12 hours, but this does not seem necessary.

 

After 48 hours it was ready for seasoning and sous vide cooking. The rice was scraped off with a chef’s knife. I was wary of undue flavors (for Teal) . Besides at the end of the sous vide cooking, it goes on the charcoal for browning and the rice would get in the way of that. So the rice was scraped off and discarded (maybe another use would be good next time).  However there is is a pleasant roasted/toasted rice aroma added to the beef aroma – very nice. Now it was time for the Sous Vide cooking at 130F for 4.5 hours with Teal’s favorite spice blend — Penzey’s Barbecue of the America’s.

At the end of the sous vide cook, it was removed from the bag, drained and dried with paper towels. At this point, it still looks bland.  The grill was already pre-heated with a pile of lump hardwood charcoal and blazing hot.  The steak was then placed directly on the charcoal (no need for a grate) and moved every 20-30 seconds.  After 90 seconds, it was flipped and again moved every 20-30 seconds. With a hot fire, like this, the fat renders off fast and I did not need to do the edges. However, if your fire is not “burning the hair off of your knuckles hot” then you may need to also stand the roast on edge to get the edges nicely done as well.

Overall, it is a great success. The meat is superbly tender and the added flavor is both mild and welcome.  Not bad for $6.99 / lb rib roast Christmas special . There is a faint aroma of toasted rice added to the meat. This is actually really a nice added fragrance and made it harder to wait for the whole 10 minute hold time after pulling from the grill, before slice and serve. So how are you going to make moldy rice and beef?  This is a great excuse to expand your family’s horizons with new foods.