Miso is a great way to add umami to soups and stews. Including parsley, leeks, and mushrooms in miso results in a flavor-packed instant miso bouillon that is gluten-free, vegan, zero-waste, and delicious!
I designed this recipe as a substitute for powered bouillon or bouillon cubes. I’m a big fan of zero-waste recipes, so I wanted to use something other than my usual bouillon options. I also make vegetable scrap stock. But with our family of four, it’s hard to keep up in the winter, when we eat soups and stews nearly every other night.
Here are some of my favorite reasons to make instant miso bouillon:
- It is rich, flavorful, and adds a lot of umami to your meals.
- Miso is a delicious way to salt meals without adding a lot of extra salt.
- Enjoying miso regularly is linked to many health benefits.
Notes about Instant Miso Bouillon
Here are some notes that will help you get the most out of your instant miso bouillon.
1. For Beginners
Don’t worry if you have never made miso before. It is so easy and reliable. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite ferments and something I always recommend to beginners.
–> Probably the hardest part of making miso is finding koji rice. Check the freezer section of your local Japanese grocery store.
–> Since koji is a living mold culture, it doesn’t ship well. If you can’t find a local source, order from a producer in your country. Cultures for Health is an option for anyone in the USA.
I don’t go into a lot of detail on all the steps in this recipe. It’s based on my basic miso recipe, so you can look at that recipe for additional details.
2. Choice of beans
I recommend using split peas because they dissolve nicely into soups. However, feel free to use soybeans or chickpeas if you would prefer.
3. Options for aging miso
This miso needs at least 5 months to ripen, but the flavor will be better if it’s left to age for at least 1 year. You can let it age for several years if you have the patience!
I’m generally not a patient person, so I make a HUGE batch of miso, then harvest it in small batches, leaving the rest to age. You don’t need to refrigerate it after opening. Just use clean spoons and keep the miso covered with parchment paper to slow oxidation.
Instant Miso Bouillon
Miso is a great way to add a LOT of umami to soups and stews. Adding garlic, onions, and mushrooms to miso results in a flavor-packed instant miso bouillon that is gluten-free, vegan, zero-waste, and delicious!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 cups 1x
- Category: Miso
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup dried split peas (or soybeans)
- 4 cups of water, divided
- 2 medium-sized leeks
- 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup of fresh parsley
- 2 cups koji rice (or koji barley)
- 1/2 cup sea salt (non-iodized)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp mature fermented miso (optional)
- 1 tsp of sea salt (for sprinkling on top)
- Place the split peas in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of water and leave them to soak for at least 8 hours (I usually let them soak overnight).
- Strain the water. Place the peas back into the pot with the remaining 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until they are soft (about 1 hour for peas, 2 to 4 hours for soybeans).
- When the peas are soft, strain the water, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in the reserved cooking water. Leave the peas and the mushrooms to cool to just above room temperature (about 30 minutes to 1 hour).
- Trim the tough green leaves off of the leeks and dice the stalks. Wash the parsley and remove the leaves from the stems. Place them in a blender or food processor with the split peas, mushrooms, and reserved cooking water. Add in the koji rice, 1/2 cup of sea salt, ground black pepper, and mature miso (if available). Pulse until everything has a smooth, even consistency.
- Pour boiling water into your jars to sanitize them. This recipe will fit 2-quart-sized jars or a 1 1/2-quart jar. Wash your hands well. Then pack the mixture into the jars for fermentation. I typically do this by hand. It’s important to leave headroom because the liquid will come up as the miso ferments.
- Sprinkle on a bit of salt, and use a weight to press the miso as it ferments. Cap with a lid to keep pests out. Place the jar somewhere cool and dark to ferment for at least 5 months and up to several years.
- I usually hand-mash my miso for a rustic consistency. However, I enjoy miso bouillon better when it is smooth. This will help it disappear into your meals.
- I don’t have enough weights to devote to my jars of miso. So I often use rocks that I have sanitized by boiling them for 5 minutes. Then I place the rocks on top of parchment paper on my miso to prevent the rocks from sliding into the mash.