How to Make Miso

Homemade miso paste is probiotic, gluten free and vegan.

5 from 2 reviews

Homemade miso is so delicious that you will want to eat it straight from the jar with a spoon! While it takes a long time to ferment, the process itself is actually very simple. See the section above for details on the different types of miso and how to use this recipe.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups dried beans (soy is traditional but you can use another type of bean)
  • 2 cups koji rice or koji barley
  • 1/2 cup sea salt (non-iodized)
  • 1 Tbsp mature fermented miso (see notes)
  • 1 tsp of sea salt (not mixed into the ferment)


  1. Soak the beans overnight.
  2. Drain the water then cook the beans until they are soft. Soybeans will take about 2 hours, and other beans are closer to 45 minutes.
  3. Drain the beans, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water. 
  4. When the beans have cooled to room temperature, place them in a large mixing bowl with the koji rice, 1/2 cup of salt, and reserved cooking water.
  5. Mash everything together by hand or with a potato masher. You want the rough texture of hand mashing, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Then pack the mashed beans and rice into fermentation container. Make sure you have at least 1 inch of the headroom because the liquid will bubble up during the fermentation. See the section above for different fermentation container options.
  6. Sprinkle another teaspoon of salt on the top of the packed in beans and rice.
  7. Use a weight to keep everything weighed down during fermentation. It will slowly produce a layer of dark brown liquid called tamari, which can be drained off after fermenting to be used like soy sauce. (Yum!)
  8. Place the fermentation container in a cool, dark location to ferment for 6-24 months. A basement or closet is perfect. 
  9. Store the miso in the fridge once you start using it. It should last for several years.


  • The secret to ensuring that everything ferments nicely is to sanitize the fermentation container(s) prior to use. I usually just fill them with boiling water which is enough to kill any surface bacteria and mold.
  • Miso is a mold, yeast, and bacterial ferment. Adding a bit of mature miso provides the necessary yeast and bacterial culture. When making your first batch, it’s fine to use store-bought miso. Look for brands that are refrigerated as they will be unpasteurized and alive.
  • Want to get deep into the world for fermenting? Try making your own koji rice.

Keywords: homemade, diy, vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, traditional, savory, nut free