Production method (Miso)
In the past, most families made their own Miso at home.
Nowadays, it is common to buy Miso at stores.
However, making Miso is still popular in Japan. Because we can make them according to our own favorite styles.
Finished Miso varies according to the ingredients, fermentation time etc. (Please refer to the page of Classification of Miso)
Even if we don’t have enough time or ingredients actually to make some, it is always interesting to know the production method of traditional foods, isn’t it?
Let’s make Miso
The below is the most orthodox the production method (Miso).
Of course, we can change it depending on the accessibility to ingredients, the environment, the preference etc.
Roughly speaking, the process is as follows.
1) make Miso dough
2) make the dough into small balls
3) put them in a container
4) leave it for fermentation
1. Miso dough
<Preparation of Soybeans>
- First, we prepare soybeans.
1) Soak soybeans overnight.
2) Cook them for 2-3 hours until they become soft enough to be easily squashed between your thumb and ring finger
3) Drain them.
* Don’t forget to keep the cooking water because we can use it later.
- When soybeans are cooked,
1) weigh them
2) add salt (10% of the weight of cooked soybeans).
3) squash the beans with a masher
4) leave them to cool
<Preparation of Koji and salt>
Next, we prepare Koji and salt.
1) Crumble koji
2) Mix it with salt (10% of the weight of koji).
＊If you are interested in making Koji by yourself in Japan, visit here
When the soybeans get cool to below 60℃ / 140°F,
1) add the koji and salt mixture (mentioned above)
2) mix them well to get the dough with the softness of your earlobes
* If they don’t mix enough, add some cooking water of soybeans (mentioned above).
But if you add some water, don’t forget to add some salt (10% of the weight of added water).
2. Miso container
Miso balls in container
- Then we prepare Miso fermenting container
1) Shape the dough into balls, approximately the size of your fist.
2) Choose your favorite container
* Any type of container will do, as long as it has a lid. Cover it with a plastic sheet, if you like.
3) Throw the balls into the container. Throw them as hard as possible to get rid of the air inside.
4) Level the surface and try again to push out all the air inside
5) If you have a) favorite home-made miso, or b) some fresh sake lees (preferably junmai sake), spread them thinly onto the surface.
* This process prevents bad bacteria from growing on the surface.
6) Put on the lid
- Finally, we’ve got the baby Miso.
- Next, let the baby Miso ferment.
1) For the first month, place the container in a cool place (under 15℃ / 59°F)
* This process is required to inhibit the activity of bad bacteria and help the activity of lactic acid bacteria.
2) After the first month, miso can be stored at room temperature between 15-30℃ / 59-86°F.
But don’t forget to examine the surface once every a few weeks and remove the undesirable molds, if you find them
3) Let the miso ferment for about 6 months.
- When its surface turns slightly glossy and it releases the Miso aroma, taste it.
If you find it good, Miso is already prepared.
Take the Miso out of the fermenting container and keep it in the fridge.
But many specialists think that 6 months is only preparation and Miso is not finished. You can leave it as long as you like to get your favorite.