How to simulate a 45-day dry-aged steak in 2 days using Koji

There's no secret to a great steak: start with the best meat -- from farms that dedicate themselves to producing the very best. Dry-aging (something nearly all of Crowd Cow's 100+ craft beef producers do for a minimum of 10 days) adds to the flavor and tenderness of the beef. Season, cook appropriately and let the meat speak for itself.

If you want to get fancy -- without much effort -- this post has you covered.

I'm going to tell you how to get a steak to take on the nutty, deep and quite indescribable flavor of extreme dry-aging -- 45+ days worth -- and how to do that in only 48 hours. The secret is Koji.

Koji first appeared on the culinary scene over 2000 years ago in China, where it was first discovered as a fermenting agent capable of bringing out complex umami flavor in food. In Japan, Koji is integral in the production of many things we love, including sake, miso, and mirin (a sweet, fermented rice wine used in cooking.)

  1. Purchase some Koji wafers on Amazon and some craft beef from Crowd Cow (New York Steaks or Ribeyes are good for this)

  2. Blend the Koji into a fine powder in a blender and cover the raw steaks in the powder.

  3. Place the powdered steaks into a drying rack and place in your fridge for 48 hours. Don't cover. If you need a rack, this is the one I recommend. By the way, it looks better in real life than the one in the photo.

  4. Remove the steaks and gently wash them off in water to remove all of the koji covering.

  5. Cook the steaks as you normally would. I recommend the reverse sear method.

Rubbing the Koji powder onto a steak
Rubbing powdered Koji onto steak

A package of "Koji" fermenting agent used to simulate dry-aging
Koji wafers

Koji-rubbed steak with umami 45-day dry-aged flavor
Koji-rubbed steaks after 48 hours in the fridge.