Roast Koji Chicken

Roast Koji Chicken

recipe image

Photo of kojimarinated chicken how to cook with shio koji guide.

This chicken gets a two-day swaddle in granular rice koji and salt.Photo by Alex Lau

Koji—a type of fermented rice used as seasoning in Japan—makes the meat in this roast chicken more tender, crisps up the chicken skin, and lends both sweet and savory notes.


Serves 4

2 tablespoons granular rice koji

1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal or 2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt

1 (3 1/2–4-pound) chicken, patted dry

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Step 1

    Grind koji in a spice mill or a blender to a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in salt; set aside.

    Step 2

    Starting at the neck end of the chicken, gently slide your fingers between the skin and breast to loosen skin; continue working down the thighs and legs to fully separate skin from meat (be careful not to tear). Rub koji mixture under skin all over meat and inside cavity, distributing evenly. Season outside of chicken generously with pepper and place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill at least 8 hours and up to 2 days, leaving uncovered up to 24 hours, then loosely covering if chilling longer.

    Step 3

    Let chicken sit at room temperature 45 minutes.

    Step 4

    Preheat oven to 425°F. Roast chicken until skin is starting to brown all over, 15–20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue roasting chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°F, 40–45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

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