Once you have koji rice (or koji barley) you are past the first hurdle on your way to making miso! The process of putting the miso together is relatively quick. The difficult part is that you have to wait at least 6 months (or preferably up to a year) until the miso is finally finished.
I’m not sure if I have that kind of patience… but I’m in the process of finding out! I’m a few months into it now… and pleased because it hasn’t sprouted any funny mushrooms and is starting to turn a miso-like brown. I will have to wait a few more months before I can taste it, but I have heard that homemade miso tastes amazing.
- 2 cups dried bean (soy is traditional but you can use another type)
- 500 g (2 cups) koji rice
- ½ cup sea salt (non-iodized)
- 1 tbsp mature miso (if you have it)
- Soak the bean over night.
- Simmer the beans until they are really soft (soy beans take about 2 hours).
- Reserve 1½ cups of the cooking water, and a drain the beans.
- When the beans are at room temperature, mix in the koji, salt and reserved water.
- Mash by hand (you want the rough texture of hand mashing). Then pack into your fermenting container.
- Sprinkle on a layer of salt (about 1 tsp).
- Use a weight to hold the beans down then cover to keep the mixture clean (it will slowly develop a liquid layer).
- Place in a cool, dark place for 6-24 months.
-Traditionally miso would be fermented in a crock, with a weight and a tea towel to keep it clean. I decided to use a fido because I don’t want to risk contamination.
-There are many variations on the recipe for miso, mostly based on personal preference, and tradition. The colour of the miso will change based on the percentage of rice to bean, as well as the length of fermentation.
I use miso to make traditional miso soup, hearty miso soup, miso gravy or miso salad dressing. Fermented miso can be used as a culture for other ferments. It’s also tasty as an all purpose seasoning for vegetarian dishes.
Here is the mash, ready to be packing into a jar.
This is the miso at 1 week old.
Here’s the miso at 2 months old. It has a small layer of liquid on top, but hasn’t really done much else… Only 10 more months to go!