Koji-Cola All-Purpose Marinade

Koji rice teams up with cane sugar–rich Mexican Coca Cola to tenderize the meat of your choice while grilling up nice and crispy; find koji rice online or at Asian markets.

Koji-Cola All-Purpose Marinade Recipe
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Total Time:
10 mins
Makes 1 3/4 cups


  • 3/4 cup uncooked koji rice

  • 1/2 cup Mexican Coca-Cola

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 3 pounds meat (such as salmon fillets, lamb rib chops, pork loin chops, skirt steak, or chicken wings)

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • Canola oil


  1. Process koji rice in a high-speed blender until powdery, about 1 minute. Add cola, soy sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic, shallot, and peppercorns. Process until mostly smooth, about 30 seconds.

  2. If desired, remove 1/4 cup marinade for basting; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Separate meat into separate ziplock plastic bags by type; divide marinade evenly among bags. Seal bags; turn to coat meat. Marinate salmon up to 1 hour; marinate all other meats 1 to 24 hours as desired.

  3. Remove meat from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Discard marinade. Season meat all over with salt. Let stand at room temperature while preparing grill, about 30 minutes. Grill meat on oiled grill grates over direct heat, uncovered, for times specified in Note below. Baste chicken halfway through cook time; baste all other meats during last 5 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

Marinade can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Salmon fillets: 4 to 5 minutes, skin side down; 3 to 4 minutes, skin side up
Lamb rib chops: 12 to 16 minutes
Pork loin chops: 12 to 16 minutes
Skirt steak: 14 to 18 minutes
Chicken wings: 25 to 30 minutes

Suggested Pairing

Ripe, full-bodied California red blend.

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