Ferment! Day 5

Miso

We made miso today, following Noma’s recipe as well as traditional methods though it has ended up spending the rest of its days in a plastic ice cream tub. Miso is the product of a fungal fermentation, where the microbe aspergillus oryzae is cultured on rice or barley grains then mixed through cooked soy beans and salt. The cultured rice can be bought online and is known as koji.

We used roughly 60% koji to soy and 10% salt, and the soy bean cooking liquid to eye, bringing the mixture to a level where it clumps into a ball and when thrown against the side of the bowl, doesn’t crack and doesn’t splatter. A sort of mud-like consistency.

We’ve put away a cacao miso as well, and will see how it develops!

Miso recipe

480g soy beans
300g koji
40g salt

Soak soy beans overnight.
Cook until soft and reserve the liquid, and cool to room temperature.
Blitz the cooked beans to desired consistency and mix through the salt and koji.
Add the cooking liquid until the mixture resembles a dry-ish dough, and comes together in your hand and when thrown against the side of a bowl, it neither cracks nor splatters.
Throw the mix in balls into a container to make sure there are no pockets of air.
Pat down to a smooth surface and salt the surface with sea salt, being generous with the edges.
Place cling film across the surface and cover with muslin.

Update

The miso we made is very sweet and fragrant, much less complex than any store bought or long-ferment products, but definitely delicious! We found that after 9 days at room temperature, it was good enough to eat but we will leave a jar fermenting at Eden over the next year and see how it develops.

The salt on the surface definitely helps to prevent any unwanted growth and apart from a very small surface spore of white mould, the miso was uncontaminated and once the spore was removed and resalted, it’s stayed nice and clean.