Making your own miso in just two steps
Miso is a commonly used product in kitchens everywhere. It is a product that you want to keep using, but you also want to distinguish yourself from your colleagues. At Gastronomixs, we have the solution: make your own miso! In this blog, we explain how to make your own miso, the ingredients and equipment you'll need, and how long it takes.
Miso: so many people, so many flavours
While many people think that miso originated in Japan, it actually comes from China. The Chinese were already making a fermented soya paste called jiang over 2,000 years ago. The miso that we use today is a Japanese version of this ancient paste. The Koreans also have their own miso paste called doenjang, and in Indonesia they have a paste called tauco. All these pastes differ in fragrance, colour, and flavour. For example, the Korean miso paste has a sharper taste than the Japanese version, and we recommend that you try them both to compare the flavours. The following ingredients are found in all the different miso pastes:
- Dried soya beans
- White rice, not precooked
- Koji-kin starter culture (can be ordered online)
- Non-iodised salt
- Soya sauce (speeds up the process)
Miso is made through fermentation. To ensure that this fermentation process is successful, you need a few things. You can find all this equipment on the internet or at a wholesaler.
- Plastic Curver box with lid
- Aquarium heater
- Plastic bowl
- Tea towel
- Fermenting pot with fermentation lock
Good things take time!
It takes a long time to make miso. The entire process takes at least six months. But don't let that deter you: most of the work takes place in the first week, after which you don't have to do much. Fermentation consists of two different processes. Below we explain how to make your own miso step by step.
The first fermentation process:
- Rinse 125g of uncooked white rice until the water runs clear. Leave to drain for at least fifteen minutes.
- Steam the rice for 45 minutes and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Mix 0.2g of the koji-kin starter through the rice.
- Fill the Curver box with a few centimetres of water. Place the aquarium heater in the water and heat up to between 25°C and 35°C.
- Place the rice in a bowl that fits inside the Curver box. Cover the Curver box with a tea towel and close off well. Leave the rice in the bowl for at least 48 hours. Stir the rice a few times to ensure that the mould culture has enough oxygen.
Please note: You want the mould to be white. If the mould starts to turn yellow or green, you must stop immediately.
The second fermentation process:
- Soak 125g of dried soya beans in water for twelve hours.
- Cook until done in unsalted water. Remove the cooked soya beans from the water and leave to cool. Save the cooking liquid.
- Remove the skin from the beans by rubbing them between your hands in a bowl filled with cold water. The skin is released and floats to the top while the heavier bean sinks to the bottom.
- Mix the koji rice that you prepared through the soya beans and add 70g of salt. Mash to create an apple-sauce-like structure. You might need to add a little of the cooking liquid.
- Pour into a fermenting pot with a fermentation lock and leave to stand at 18-20°C for at least six months. Mix the contents regularly.
The longer that the miso ferments, the more deeply the flavour develops.
Critical points for the fermentation process
- Stable temperature
- Mould formation during fermentation indicates that you used too little salt or did not stir often enough.
Patience is key...
It's clear that making miso is not that difficult. It's mostly about having patience and checking whether the temperature remains steady. The end product that you create will make a real difference to your dish!
If this has inspired you to find out more about what you can do with miso, at Gastronomixs you'll find multiple components with miso. If the fermenting technique has piqued your interest, then visit our technique page to learn more.