13w 23h 20m
Miso is a traditional Japanese ingredient. It is fermented over a month and is prepared using soybeans, salt, and rice koji. It can be used every day in miso soup and many other dishes such as marinades for meats and vegetables, dressings for salads, spreads for toasts, and everything you’d like to bring some umami flavor! .
My grandmother and mother produced handmade miso using traditional black soybeans in a small miso manufacturer in Kyoto. Black soybeans miso takes longer to make, so now we would like to show you how to easily make it at home using regular and easy-to-find soybeans. Handmade miso takes longer, but the taste is extraordinary and it is worth giving it a try.
Koji, or malt, is fermented by propagating koji mold on steamed rice or other grains. Fermentation means that organic matter is decomposed by the action of microorganisms and transformed into another substance. In other words, fermentation is when rice (organic matter) is decomposed by koji mold (microorganisms) and transformed into koji or malt (another substance).
To describe koji in just a few words, it is the ultimate in sweetness when you put rice in your mouth and keep chewing it, with the power of microorganisms called koji molds. The koji mold used to make koji and malt is called "Japanese koji mold," which is specific to Japan and is designated as a national fungus. The scientific name for Japanese koji mold is "Aspergillus oryzae“.
The homemade miso should ferment for 3 months during the summer. If it is winter, it should be left fermenting for 6 months.
Wash and strain 200 g of dried soybeans. Repeat this process three times
Transfer the beans to a bowl and cover it with water. Place a clean kitchen towel over it and let it soak for 18h
Strain the beans and transfer them to a pot. Cover with water
Place over medium-high heat until the water starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low
Periodically remove any foam that forms on the surface. Make sure the soybeans are always covered in water by adding more if necessary
Simmer the beans for 3h until they are completely soft and can be easily smashed with your fingers. Turn off the heat
Strain the beans through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid
Add the cooked soybeans to a freezer bag. Close it while still warm and let it cool down to around 37 ºC, close to the human body temperature
Sterilize a airtight jar and a fermentation weight with alcohol
Press the freezer bag onto a working surface until the beans turn into a paste
Add 200 g of rice koji to a bowl. Smash it using your hands to separate the rice koji
Add 80 g of salt and mix until combined
Transfer the mixture to the freezer bag with the soybeans paste and seal it
Knead the beans until completely homogeneous. If it is too stiff to knead, add 1 or 2 tbsp of the cooking liquid
Shape the bean mixture into equal medium-sized balls
Add 1 ball at a time to the sterilized airtight container. Press each one down to an even layer before adding the next one to make sure there will be no air gaps
Cover the entire surface with a thin layer of salt to prevent mold
Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the soybean paste. Add a fermentation weight on top of it and cover with more plastic wrap
Place the airtight container inside a paper bag and wrap it. Keep it in a cool and dark place for 3 months until fermented
The homemade miso is ready! Enjoy using it in various dishes, such as noodles or grilled proteins!
Yield 750 g
Dried Soybean200 g
Rice Koji200 g
Fine Mesh Sieve