Miso is actually very quick and easy to make at home. The difficult part is waiting for at least 6 months (or preferably up to a year) until the miso is finally finished and ready to eat. However, it is worth the wait. Homemade miso is tasty that you will want to eat is straight out of the jar with a spoon!
I admit that I was worried about leaving something to ferment in a closet for more than just a month or two. However, I haven’t had a failure with any of my long term ferments. The secret is to sanitize everything and follow all the basic fermentation rules.
- 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 beans over night.
- Simmer the beans until they are really soft (soy beans will take about 2 hours).
- Reserve 1½ cups of the cooking water, and drain the beans.
- When the beans have cooled to room temperature, mix in the koji rice, salt and reserved water.
- Mash by hand or with a potato masher. You want the rough texture of hand mashing, so don't be afraid to do it by hand. Then pack the mashed beans and rice into your container for fermenting.
- Sprinkle on a layer of salt (about 1 tsp).
- Use a weight to hold the beans down during fermentation. It will slowly produce a layer of dark brown liquid called tamari.
- Place in a cool, dark location to ferment for 6-24 months.
-Miso is traditionally fermented in a crock, with a weight and a tea towel to keep it clean. I recommend using a fido or a mason jar with an airlock, because this is a long ferment so it’s important to prevent contamination.
-There are many variations on the basic 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.
Recipes with miso
If you aren’t quite sure what to do with miso (besides a traditional miso soup) then here are a few ideas. Homemade miso is basically a tasty all-purpose seasoning. Here are a few of my favourite recipes that feature miso:
- Soups: hearty miso soup and Japanese noodle soup.
- Miso gravy
- Salads: miso salad dressing and carrot miso salad.
- Culturing other fermented foods: hummus and white bean dip.