Thursday, April 10, 2014

Homemade Miso

Do you know what exactly Miso paste is?

Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning, fermented soy beans with salt and Aspergillus oryzae (kind of yeast, made from fermented rice, used as ferment starter).
That is basic ingredients, but there are more recipe how to make Miso depends on region in Japan.

Aspergillus oryzae, we call it Koji in Japan. Koji is used to ferment soy beans to make Miso and soy sauce. And also it is used to ferment rice to make Sake and rice vinegar.
Shochu (Japanese distilled beverage) is also made from Koji and rice or barley or sweet potato.

I first made homemade miso paste last year. I ferment miso for 6 months, then start to use for cooking. Once I start to use, I make another batch of miso paste for next stock.
It is 3rd time today.

It could be ferment longer like 1 year. It develops cultured and rich flavor.

I roughly report how I made Miso paste. 

Soy beans 1kg
Koji 1kg
Salt 450g

I got soy beans from Asian super market. It is difficult to get Koji overseas. You need to buy it online from Japan. I got Koji from Urban Hippie,  making miso in Nelson, New Zealand.

Day 1.
Rinse soy beans, get dirt off. Soak it for overnight. It have to be covered with lots of water. Beans are soaked and get bigger.

Day 2.
1. Cook soaked soy beans with pressure cooker for 20 minutes or use stove, cook for 4 hours until it gets soft enough. Press a bean with your thumb and little finger, if it easy to crash, it is soft enough.
Unfortunately, I don't have pressure cooker. I cooked with a pot for long hours.

2. Strain the beans, but DO NOT through away boiled water.
Cool down beans until it gets body temperature (35℃)

3. Meanwhile mix salt and Koji together in a large bowl. It need to be blended well.
4. When beans get cool down enough, mash it. I used food processor to mash it. I added strained beans juice (process 2) to make the paste smooth.

5. Combine beans paste and koji and salt mixture in a large bowl. I got 9L bucket using for only Miso. I could not find big enough bowl at the kitchen.
Combine well.
6. Make miso balls. It makes easy to pack the paste in a jar without air in.
7. Pack the miso ball in a jar and press. Try not to air in.  I use a 9L bucket as a miso jar.

8. Cover the surface, avoid to be touched air. Put heavy weight on the top.
Cover the jar  with cloth and put date memo. You will not forget when you made miso.
Storage it at room temperature, not too warm, not too cool. It takes 6 - 12 months to ferment it and develop cultured. You need to stir it every 3 months to ferment it evenly.

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