Homemade Miso is absolutely much more delicious than store-bought.
Safety (your selected ingredients), Salty-sweet, umami-rich, for not only MISO soup and MISO sauce, but also, for *marinating the meat, which can bring surprisingly tender, moist, savory meat.
(*Koji-kin—a fungus also used in MISO paste breaks proteins down into amino acids, you’ve heard about glutamates which produce “UMAMI” so that the ingredients marinated in MISO paste will be tender, moist, and DELICIOUS.)
Or, can make perfect MISOZUKE TAMAGO for your nibbles and ramen topping.
- MY MISO GUIDES BEFORE YOU START
- THE BEST SEASON TO MAKE MISO
- THE INGREDIENTS OF MISO PASTE
- HOW LONG SHOULD HOMEMADE MISO BE FERMENTED
- GOOD MOLD AND HARMFUL MOLD
- HOMEMADE KOJI MISO PASTE
- HOW TO USE MISO PASTE?
- EASY MISO & Peanut Butter SALAD DRESSING
MY MISO GUIDES BEFORE YOU START
Miso is already a popular condiment worldwide not only in Asian countries. You’ll often see mainly three miso types in groceries: White, yellow (“awase” mix), and red.
In Japan, miso paste products are categorized into 3 or 4 factors: ingredients, color, taste (saltiness), and production regions.
To dive into the miso world, check out my miso guide.
Recently, you’ve often heard about “koji miso” if you’re a miso connoisseur.
It’s actually the name for commercial use to enhance the raw ingredients, especially, Koji.
It probably indicates that companies produce their products to guarantee using selected raw materials and Koji.
THE BEST SEASON TO MAKE MISO
Technically, you can make miso paste throughout the year, yet, between the wintertime to the early spring (while the temperature is still cold) is said the best timing.
Contrary, the hot summer season can be better to avoid making miso paste since the risk of growing mold, prone to contamination, and failure of fermentation.
Although you need patience, begin to make homemade miso while the weather is chilly or cold.
So, you need to find a dark, cool, and dry place to keep your miso paste during the fermentation process. Be sure the temperature is not affected by the heater.
THE INGREDIENTS OF MISO PASTE
- Organic Soy Beans
- Rice Koji
- Natural Salt
- Purified Water
Traditionally, miso paste is made of soybeans. Use organic soybeans for making homemade miso paste!
I often buy this product from Amazon since there are no oriental grocery stores nearby.
Too much? But, you can make Natto, tofu, as well as miso paste!
Technically, you can make miso paste with other types of beans-often chickpeas are used although the miso taste is quite different (much sweeter) from the authentic soybeans miso.
Lightly rinse the soybeans and then let them soak overnight (for a minimum of 18 hours) in water. If your kitchen will become too warm, let the bowl in the fridge.
Cook beans a little longer than usual. I use “bean” mode (45 minutes) / “pressure” cook” mode (HIGH, 20 minutes) in Instant pot.
On the stovetop, add the soaked beans to a large deep pot and add enough water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high, and simmer the beans for 3-4 hours over low heat until they are soft.
We don’t need to right texture for homemade miso, so cook the beans until they are soft.
Rice koji is a must item to make homemade miso.
It’s steamed rice processed with koji-mold used for fermented food in the long Japanese culture.
You can also make salt koji called SHIO KOJI which is my fav condiment to tenderize, moisten, and make the meat flavorful.
I use a food processor to combine the rice koji and salt well-which is much easier and quicker.
HOW LONG SHOULD HOMEMADE MISO BE FERMENTED
It depends on what types of miso paste you’ll make.
- WHITE MISO…for 3 months
- YELLOW MISO…for 6-8 months
- RED MISO…for 8-12 or more months
GOOD MOLD AND HARMFUL MOLD
It is very common that you’ll find mold on your miso paste~.
This is actually not a mold, but a type of yeast fungus called “film yeast” or can be “tyrosine” that I explain below.
They are not bad guys, actually, they are good signs that fermentation is successfully processing.
They’re harmless, and you don’t need to remove them until the process will be done.
If the mold is not-hairy white mold, it is fine.
You have to watch out when the mold is green mold or soft fuzzy hairy mold.
As soon as you find them, scrape off the area that growing the mold with a sterilized spoon.
Make the surface flat after removing the mold, then, sprinkle a pinch of salt on the area the mold was grown.
You can also spray alcohol (abv 40% or more) instead of salt.
Cover the surface of miso (not the container!) with new plastic thoughtfully.
WHAT ARE WHITE PARTICLES IN HOMEMADE MISO
You’ll find white particles in your homemade miso when you try to use it.
It is called Tyrosine, a type of amino acid that is formed when soybean protein is decomposed during the fermentation and aging process.
It is not harmful at all, please feel free to enjoy your homemade miso.
HOMEMADE KOJI MISO PASTE
- 1 instant pot / deep cook pot
- clean glass jar
- heavyweight *use salt/ beans in a ziplock bag
- 1 food processor / a masher
- 0.44 lb Soybeans
- 1 package *Iseya Rice Koji *200 g, 0.44 lb
- 10-12% sea salt
- The cooking water after the beans cooked.
- Combine the rice koji and salt using a food processor. Or use your hands.
- Rinse the soybeans thoroughly several times under running water. Soak the soybeans for 18 hours.*Hydrate the beans even when using an instant pot since they should be cooked really soft.
- Drain the beans. Add the soybeans to the inner pot, and fill the pot with water to about 3 inches above the beans.
- "Bean" mode, 45 minutes. *Cook the beans longer for easy mashing.
- You can cook the beans on the stovetop. Bring the beans and water to a boil over high heat, and skim off the scum continuously. Simmer the beans for about 3-4 hours, uncovered, until the beans are really soft.
- Drain the water, but, KEEP THE COOKING WATER.
- Make the cooked beans paste with the food processor while still hot. Or, mash the cooked beans thoughtfully.
- Add the cooking water a little if the beans are not enough to mash. *In this recipe, it's not gonna make "a miso ball". Make the bean paste softer than you think.
- Add the koji and salt mixture while the bean paste is still warm, combine well.
- Sterilize the container with high-ABV alcohol such as vodka.
- Scoop the handful of the bean paste with your fingers, and slam it into the container. *To get the air pockets out.
- Press the paste to the bottom or walls thoughtfully to get the rest of the air pockets out. *The air pocket will cause growing mold.
- Repeat this process.
- Pat down the surface with your palm or spatula to smooth it out.
- Place a plastic wrap on top of the paste while covering fully without any air pockets.
- Place the heavyweight on the top and lid it on. Label the date on the lid.
- Store the container in a dark and cool place for 3-8 months. *White miso paste…3 months*Yellow miso paste…6-8 months*Red miso paste…8-12 (or more) months
- You'll need to keep your homemade miso paste in a fridge to stop the fermentation process. Transfer your homemade miso into smaller containers if desired and store some in a freezer!Consume homemade miso within a year before the color and flavor will be affected. (Yet, homemade miso will basically last very long.)
HOW TO USE MISO PASTE?
There are many recipes to enjoy your homemade miso, however, making MISO SOUP should be the first recipe to use your homemade miso!
Traditional staple soup made with Japanese dashi broth, miso paste, and various ingredients. There are countless combinations including types of dashi broth, types of miso paste, and ingredients from vegetables to meat. Nothing can beat homemade miso soup. In this recipe, you can learn how to make miso soup with kombu dashi/ without dashi.
EASY MISO & Peanut Butter SALAD DRESSING
- 1 food processor/ chopper/ mixer OR a large bowl and a whisk
- 2 tbsp peanut butter OR sesame paste (tahini/NERIGOMA)
- 2 tbsp Red or Yellow miso paste
- 3 tbsp raw cane sugar/ homemade ginger syrup OR 1½ tbsp of honey
- 3 tbsp mild vinegar OR freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tbsp purified water
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1.5 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
- ½ TSP freshly grated ginger *Optional
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce *Optional
- Whisk together all ingredients until a creamy dressing with a food processor/ a vegetable chopper/ a mixer OR a whisk in a large bowl. **Cuisinart CSB-179 Smart Stick Variable Speed Hand Blender
- Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
- Make the savory stir-fried rice noodle dish to use this dressing!*RECIPE