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Japanese Miso – DIY Fermentation Project Complete

November 20, 2014


DIY Japanese Miso Cracker Dip

We have completed the fermentation of our DIY Japanese Miso Paste from raw soy beans.  The Miso making was a great success.

Many readers could be forgiven for reacting with an “Eeuuuwwwww!” upon seeing some of the photos of this process, but believe us, the final miso paste product is extremely tasty.  And healthy too!

It has been almost a full year since we started making our paste. The fermentation started in cold Winter months early in the year, soon after when we first discussed home DIY miso making. We later provided a full DIY how-to of miso making guide” when we started the mix, where we showed the ingredients required in the preparation and the techniques used.

Time has flown by. We provided a half year report on the progress of our fermentation project when the soy bean paste received a good mixing just prior to the arrival of Summer’s full heat. At the time, being exposed to only cool temperatures, little had changed in our premature miso paste and there wasn’t even a thread of flavor altering mold to be seen.

Given five extra months of development and an a blast of Japanese Summer heat in between, and that all changed!

With almost a full year of development, we revisited our modest looking Japanese miso paste fermentation bucket. It had lived under the house in a dark, but non-air conditioned area away from insects and pests, since last Winter.

We carefully removed the lightly sealed covering on the preparation.


Fungal growth on DIY Japanese Miso Paste preparation

The fungus growing on the DIY Miso Paste may be unsightly, but it is important for adding richness to the texture and taste; not unlike in the process of making Blue-Vein Cheese.

It was obvious that fermentation had indeed taken place since our last mix of ingredients. The odour of the newly fermented miso paste was initially pungent and strong, but not necessarily off putting. With a little aeration of the bucket, it smelt very much like normal (strong, but) mature miso was meant to smell.

Removing fungus from DIY Japanese Miso Paste preparation

The fungus mainly grows on the surface of the Miso paste. It can be easily scooped away and discarded.

The additional fermentation time had allowed development of a very different odour compared to when we checked and re-mixed the ingredients six months ago. The time and warmth of the Summer really had allowed the mix to develop nicely.

Did the miso preparation have copious amounts of flavor altering mold growing on it? Yes!

Was it initially a handsome sight to see and photograph? No, not at all!

(If you are following this guide, then brace yourself for this initial opening surprise and what you will see. The fungus buildup, although normal, is not the sort of thing you usually want to see growing on your food!)

Although unsightly, the main bulk of the fungus was only growing on the surface of the miso paste.

The majority of the surface fungus was scooped away from the DIY Japanese Miso paste.

The majority of the surface fungus was scooped away. The miso is already smelling tasty!

We quickly scooped most of the fungus away and discarded it. Although unsightly, the fungus is extremely important in developing the rich, unique flavors that make miso what it is. Not unlike the process involved in making Blue Vein Cheese. All that ugly looking fungal goodness adds to the health and flavor. Admittedly, it may not be for everyone.

Once the main portion of fungus and mold had been removed from the surface (leave more if you want a stronger taste in your mix), we mixed the remaining soft paste well within the bucket.

The texture of the miso paste found below the surface of fungus had also changed significantly since the ingredient mix six months prior. The crushed bean paste was deeper in color and the ingredients appeared more ‘blended’ and pasty in texture than before.

Mixing DIY Japanese Miso Paste

The Japanese Miso paste was given a good mix before being transferred to more sightly food containers.


Once we had mixed the miso well and then transferred portions into a more appealing food bowl away from the initial sights of fungus, the taste test was a far more palatable concept.

Like the odour, we found the taste was deep, rich and well developed. The saltiness of the ingredients had somewhat dissipated to blend with the strong nuttiness taste of the soy beans. The DIY custom designed miso taste was definitely unique and tasty!

DIY Japanese Miso Paste Cooking

After a year of waiting, the DIY Japanese Miso paste could finally be used to add unique Japanese flavors to food preparations.

Our DIY Japanese miso paste fermentation process was a complete success. We produced approximately two Gallons (7.5 litres) (ie: a lot!!!) of extremely tasty miso paste for use in healthy cooking and many Japanese meals ahead.

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2 Responses to Japanese Miso – DIY Fermentation Project Complete

  1. Ambrosia
    May 5, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hi there, this is such a great post! I enjoyed reading from the first one to this one. So happy for your success. Just got a question, as I am preparing to my own batch at the moment. I am wondering how do you store the miso after it is ready to eat. And how long can you store it for? Best regards.


  2. May 9, 2016 at 12:28 am

    We usually keep the miso in a clean sealed container in the refrigerator. It keeps for an extremely long time, due to the high salt content. An entire bucket of miso usually lasts us almost year.

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