Today at HomeDIYStuff.com, we received a project pack for making our own Miso. Miso is a very healthy, traditional food in Japan. It is a fermented bean paste that is extremely important in the everyday diets of most Japanese. A wide variety of miso pastes are used in Miso soup, ramen (noodle) soup, as condiment and in general, in an extremely wide selection of other everyday foods.
Miso paste takes many months to make as it is made from the gradual yeast fermentation of Soy beans. When prepared and left to to sit over time, the bean paste takes on the consistency of something resembling Peanut Butter … but obviously with a considerably different taste!
The paste adds a relatively a strong, distinctive Japanese taste and pungent oriental fragrance to dishes. The manufacture of Miso paste is quite an art and flavors can vary greatly depending on the Soy beans used and techniques used to make paste. It varies from quite a light taste with a soft yellow color, to thick and strong taste with a dark tan color.
Unfortunately, traditional home made Miso paste has gone somewhat like that of DIY jam making in other countries. Die hards still do make it, but for the vast, busy majority, it is usually cheaper and far more convenient to simply purchase commercially made brands from the supermarket.
Since Miso making is a dying tradition in the home, we thought we’d give the idea a go. Today is not the day where we will be writing about how we actually made the Miso. That will come later. We did however, want to show the contents of the package we kindly received on the doorstep in preparation for our project.
While we have chosen to use an all contained kit for our DIY Miso making project for convenience sakes (tsk, tsk), the ingredients of the kit are commonly available in Japan from most supermarkets (and no doubt from most Asian food supplies elsewhere).
The kit contained:
- Dried, raw Soy beans (1.3kg)
- Three packets of the yeast culture (Koji) for the fermentation process (1.5kg)
- Salt (700g)
- 1 x plastic bucket for storage
- 1 x wooden lid for squeezing the paste
We will bring you more information on how we actually prepared the Miso Paste in a couple of weeks. More then…
(Updated — 2015, Feb 3) – See our project start blog story here as well as our step by step guide to what we did to make DIY Miso, here. if you are considering trying this DIY project at home.
***** Update – Half Year Miso Re-Mix *****
(Update — 2015, June 28 – Half Year Re-mix)
See our half year Miso paste project update notes as we re-mix the ingredients after the initial cool period of Winter fermentation.
***** Update – Mission Complete! *****
(Update — 2015, December 2 – Mission Complete! )
Mission complete! See the end result of our home DIY Miso paste fermentation project. It was a complete success and we made extremely tasty Japanese miso.