Today, I will be showing how to make Miso.
Miso is one of the essential seasonings in Japanese cuisine as you already know. We make miso soup, dipping sauce, grilling and many more dishes.
Homemade miso is called “Temae Miso” which literally means “Our miso”. The word has some meanings other than homemade miso.
When we are boasting something about ourselves in a humble way, we use the word “Temae Miso” .
For example, when you are having a party at your house, and the foods are made by your family, then you say “Temae Miso but it all foods are taste so good! Go ahead and enjoy!”.
In these days, not so many people make miso at home. Because we can buy commercially made miso at the grocery store at a reasonable price.
However, I can say that homemade miso is the best. It takes about a year but so easy to make.
Let’s start the one year journey with me. Now rewind the clock to the last November.
＜ingredients＞Yields 3.5kg miso
1kg (2.2 pounds) dried soybeans
1kg (2.2 pounds) rice koji
400g (0.9 pound) sea salt
- Wash dried soybean and pick up the dirty beans. Soak in water overnight.(At least 6 hours)
2.On the next day, the beans fully rehydrated. The beans become 3 times bigger than the dry.
I prepare black soy bean which is product of our town.
Transfer the soybean to the heavy bottom pot and add water to cover. Turn on the heat to high. When it comes to a boil, skim off the forms. Put the lid but the leave some space to avoid boiling over, cook until soft for 2 hours.
Alternatively, you can use a pressure cooker. In that case, skim off the form first, then cover with the lid, put the weight on, and cook until the stream coming up. It takes 5 minutes to cook through in my pressure cooker, but you want to adjust the time.
- The soy bean should be soft enough to mash easily with your finger. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Keep the bean water to control the consistency.
- Mash the beans with a sturdy masher. Alternatively, use a food processor to make a smooth paste. In both case, I always leave small pieces to make it chunky finish.
- Wipe the container to be kept and mixing bowl by using alcohol. I use the dried bamboo skin to cover the surface to prevent the mold from growing on the surface. If you can’t find bamboo skin, it’s totally fine!
※bamboo skin has anti-bacterial effect.
Put the rice Koji into the clean bowl, add salt leaving 2 to 3 tablespoon. We use the salt later.
Rub to combine well. Add 2 to 3 tablespoon bean water to the mixture to moisten. The consistency should be almost the same as soybean paste. When you mix 2 things together, it is easier if the consistency is the same.
- Mix bean paste and koji salt mixture well. It’s going to be a goo exercise for your arms.
- Make the paste into baseball size ball. Squishing like you are making onigiri, making sure no air inside. Transfer to a container, tap the surface to make the surface flat. If the air remains, the miso will not propery ferment.
- Sprinkle the remaining salt. Cover with the bamboo leaf. If you don’t have one, use a piece of plastic wrap. Place same size of the container on top, then fill with water. This is going to be a weight. You can use beans bag or sugar bag as a weight. Be sure not to spill the water from anywhere. The miso yeilds 3.5kg and the weight should be about the same weight.
- Cover with paper and keep in a cool dark place for 6 month.
- 6 month later, It should look like this. The liquid on the surface is “Tamari”. Very flavorful soy sauce. Take out the fungus on the surface if you find it. This type of fungus is not harmful.
it’s time to take care the miso. We are doing this in May to June, it’s the rain season in Japan.
The humidity is so high, everything is going to bad easily if you don’t pay attention. To avoid the miso going bad, we do “Tenchi Gaeshi”. Which means Upside down.
By using spatula, loosen the miso. Expose miso to the air to nicely ferment and make it even inside and outside. Flatten the surface, again and cover with a piece of plastic wrap.
It is already good, but I want it to have deeper flavor. Store in the fridge for another 6 month and make it more flavorful.
In old school method, the miso should be store in cool dark place and never put in the fridge. But in my opinion, the temparature goes higher and higher in these days, it’s too high for the fermentation. So I dicided to keep in the fridge and take it slow.
My miso is so flagrant and smells so good.
The black bean miso is not selling at the store, so, worth trying! My Homemade miso, especially black beans miso, has stronger Umami than store bought.
If you are a serious cooker, just give it a try!
I will show you how we use miso in Japan next week.