How to Make Miso

Dec 08 2014 by Sjon Welters  |  2 comments

Miso – Medicinal food of the Ancients

Miso making is an enjoyable and gratifying activity that can be done during the winter months, yielding its results within a few weeks or keep you in a state of pleasant anticipation for a year or longer. To read about the history of miso and get hundreds of miso recipes, we highly recommend The Book of Miso by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi. Also, the SoyInfo Center, founded by them, has much more information if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of miso.

How to Make Short Term Sweet White Miso           19945_259747756414_7297455_n

Before you begin, consider how much miso you want to make. Calculate how much miso you currently use and adjust the recipe below accordingly. Make a bit more than you think you need to allow for aging your next batch and you might want to share some of what you make with family and friends.

Tools needed:

Pressure cooker or pot with lid
Strainer
Mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Crock, ceramic vat, or any food grade container with a cover that fits inside the container
Weights (rocks, container with sand, or gallon jug with water)
Cheesecloth

Ingredients for about 6 lbs of miso:

  • 2.5 cups (1 lbs.) of dry organic soybeans
  • 5 ½ Tbsp. (approx. 3 oz) unrefined sea salt
  • 2 lbs. Rhapsody Short Term Miso Koji
  • 3 cups cooking liquid or boiled water

Wash the soybeans well and soak overnight.

Drain the beans. Cook beans submerged in water for 20 minutes without lid and scoop off foam, put cover on and cook further under pressure for one hour. Without pressure, cook 2 hours or until very soft.

Pour off the cooking liquid, but save it because this is also the mixing liquid you will need later. Let the beans cool down to body temperature (98 degrees Fahrenheit) .

Mix the koji with some of the cooled down cooking liquid and let soften. Mix the salt, koji, and half of the cooking liquid, then mix with the cooked beans. Mix and mash with a potato masher or grind through a meat grinder until you get a homogeneous paste. Add more of the liquid until the mixture is smooth, but still thick enough to form a ball.

Transfer this paste to a container that you have rubbed with salt. Press it in tightly to make sure you don’t have any air bubbles. Dust the top with a little salt and cover it with a thick clean cloth. A cheese cloth or a canvas drop cloth from the hardware store that has been washed and rinsed first works very well. Make sure there are no soap residues. Put a plate or wooden lid on it that fits within the container and weigh it down with a heavy rock or other heavy object. The weight should be close to being as heavy as the miso. This prevents souring and yeasting.

Let this mixture sit at ambient temperature for at least a week in hot weather or at least 3 weeks during the winter months.

You can use it after 1-3 weeks or let it age even longer. There is no need to refrigerate it as long as you have the weight on it. If there is mold growth on the cloth or the miso, just scrape it off. The liquid that gathers at the top is soysauce which you can store and use.

 

How to Make Long Term Mellow Red Miso

Ingredients for about 6 lbs of miso:

  • 4 cups (1.6 lbs.) of dry organic soybeans
  • 16 Tbsp. (approx. 8 oz) unrefined sea salt
  • 1 lbs. Rhapsody Long Term Miso Koji
  • 3 – 3.5 cups cooking liquid or boiled water

 

Wash the soybeans well and soak overnight.

Drain the beans. Cook beans submerged in water for 20 minutes without lid and scoop off foam, put cover on and cook further under pressure for one hour. Without pressure, cook 4-5 hours or longer so the beans turn a deep dark red or brown.

Pour off the cooking liquid, but save it because this is also the mixing liquid you will need later. Let the beans cool down to body temperature (98 degrees Fahrenheit) .

Mix the koji with some of the cooled down cooking liquid and let soften. Mix the salt, koji, and half of the cooking liquid, then mix with the cooked beans. Mix and mash with a potato masher or grind through a meat grinder until you get a homogeneous paste. Add more of the liquid until the mixture is smooth, but still thick enough to form a ball.

Transfer this paste to a container that you have rubbed with salt. Press it in tightly to make sure you don’t have any air bubbles. Dust the top with a little salt and cover it with a thick clean cloth. A cheese cloth or a canvas drop cloth from the hardware store that has been washed and rinsed first works very well. Make sure there are no soap residues. Put a plate or wooden lid on it that fits within the container and weigh it down with a heavy rock or other heavy object. The weight should be close to being as heavy as the miso. This prevents souring and yeasting.

Let this mixture sit at ambient temperature for at least 6 months. Traditionally miso is made during the winter months when the air has less organisms in it that could spoil the miso. A batch of miso ideally would go through one summer and not be used until Fall. When miso is aged longer it will develop its flavor and get darker.

There is no need to refrigerate it as long as you have the weight on it. If there is mold growth on the cloth or the miso, just scrape it off. The liquid that gathers at the top is soysauce which you can store and use.

 

Tips when making miso

When making miso with the short term koji the least you want to ferment the mash is for 3 weeks. If you use a lot of pressure yeasts don’t get the overhand and sour the batch. Then you can let the miso ferment for a few months or more. By adding more salt (up to 10-13%) you can let it ferment over a year. But better to use the long term koji then. Either way, you will get a good miso. Grinding the mash up before fermentation will also speed up the process, but make it more susceptible to contamination, so do this carefully.
One thing with using beans other than soy is that all these beans have little oil in them, soy does have a lot of oil, and more carbohydrates making fermentation harder to control and the flavor not as full and rounded.
Whatever you do, every time you make miso you’ll do it with more experience and the chance of getting what you are aiming for gets greater.
Filed under: Koji, Organic Miso, Recipes, Uncategorized, Who we are
Tagged with:
More from our blog:

2 comments on ... How to Make Miso

  1. Alex Barazani says:

    How much water do I use? you say to soak and cook it in water but you don’t give an amount. then you say “some of the cooled down cooking liquid” and later you say “half of the cooking liquid” but half of what? I can’t figure out how much water to use.

  2. Thanks for your question Alex!

    When you soak the 4 cups of beans you want about 12 cups of water. After you soak the beans overnight, discard this water. When you place the beans in the pressure cooker you are going to cook them in, cover with water so that the water is about 2 inches above the beans. I can’t give an exact measurement of water for the cooking because beans always absorb different quantities and take up a different volume depending on the exact size of the beans. It’s more important that they are completely submerged with extra water. This will ensure that they cook thoroughly and will give you plenty of water to work with later when determining the texture of the miso paste. The water is primarily used to help with the texture of the miso paste, this again isn’t an exact measurement, because how beans cook and absorb water is different depending on the elevation of where you live, the exact temperature that it was cooked and other variables in the make up of the beans. Always start with a little water in the paste, you can always add more. But if you make the paste too wet it is more likely to mold or sour. I hope this was helpful.

    If you have further questions feel free to email me directly! moc.s1553189463doofl1553189463aruta1553189463nydos1553189463pahr@1553189463feile1553189463dam1553189463

Leave a comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *