Miso Making (Part 1)

My miso making journey started around 20 years ago. My first try was purchasing a miso making kit, a set includes a bag of soy beans, salt and a koji–malted rice. Just three simple ingredients, sounds simple, but it took me years to really enjoy a homemade batch of miso. My first batch tasted awful therefore took me several years to go back making it but my second batch was also a disaster. I was clueless why I couldn’t make a simple batch of miso.

After some researching, my miso became edible around 5yrs ago. I still don’t know why I couldn’t make it before but I guess the simpler the recipe the little mistake while making makes a lot of different.

I usually make a batch of 5 kilo if miso, but this year I found a recipe of 2.5 kilo. Making 5 kilo of miso was a lot of stress (preparing large utensils etc..) so 2.5 kilo sounded good. I’ll note down the ingredients:

  • 500grams of soybeans
  • 1000grams of malted rice
  • 255grams of seasalt

You can google how to make the miso in the internet so I’ll omit that part but would like to notes some points instead.

  • The soybeans have to be a new crop. (Not the one stored in your pantry for several years lol)
  • Carefully wash the dry beans several times.
  • Soak the soybean overnight. The beans have to be fully soaked. Plump and no wrinkles.
  • Boil the bean for around 3.5~4hours. The bean should be soft but not mushy. Should be easily pressed it flat with your thumb and little finger.
  • Do not throw away the boiled water, you might need it to adjust the moisture.
  • Puree the boiled bean and add it to the malted rice, salt mixture.
  • Mix it well, and if you found the mixture dry, add a little amount of water (the water which we boiled the beans)
  • Form the mixture into a balls, the batter should be soft enough to form a ball.
  • Slowly press the ball into the clean bucket releasing all the air out from the balls. Rotate the bucket while pressing the balls to pack the miso tightly in to the bucket. (When there is air = it will mold)
  • Flatten the miso in the bucket, leaving the center a bit high, and cover it with a plastic wrap.
  • Place a flat disk on top of the miso and place a heavy stone on top of this (You can substitute with anything heavy.)
  • Cover the bucket with it’s lid of you can cover it with a paper with a string to attach it so it won’t come off.
  • Leave the bucket indoor, in a cool dark place.
  • Good miso should be made while it’s still cold out, (like now) and have to go through hot summer (August) for a good fermentation.
  • Check the miso every month of so, and if it is molding spoon it off and continue the fermentation.

I will post again in around June, during rainy season in Japan to check the mold and show you how the miso is fermenting. Hopefully it goes well. (finger crossed)

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