Miso! Our favorite wintery ferment!

Winter is here and it's time to get in the kitchen to make one of our favorite ferments...MISO! Traditionally, started in the winter months miso is a ferment that take some time if you want a nice mature miso but, we promise you it's so worth it! Here's our basic Red Miso recipe, perfect to start fermenting at this time of year, and even better for eating! We love mugs of miso for breakfast in the winter months.



1 cup Dry blackbeans                                                                                                1 cup Koji                                                                                                                  4 Teaspoons Sea salt                                                                                               

1. Soak beans overnight. (you could swap out black beans for adzuki beans)

2. Cook using a pressure cooker (~20 minutes) or in a pot until soft. If you don't have a pressure cooker, just cook in a regular stock pot until soft.

3. Drain the beans, but save the liquid!!! (do not forget this step!)

4. Make a brine using 1/2 cup of the bean liquid and dissolve half the salt into it.

5. While waiting for the liquid to cool, mash the beans into a smooth paste. Make sure to fully get the hulls broken up.

6. When brine is below 105 degrees, mix in seed miso from a previous made batch of miso or store bought miso. If you don't have any seed miso, no worries! You can still make a perfectly great miso without it!

7. Take the mixture and mix into the koji. * note to make sure the temp is below 100 degrees so that you don't kill the mold spores from the koji.

8. Add the mashed beans and stir well.

9. Create a consistency of regular miso by adding as much mixing liquid as needed.

10. “Grease” the sides of the miso crock with a bit of sea salt. We like to shake a little bean juice around the jar and empty it and then sprinkle salt around the entire jar. (1/2 - 1 tsp of salt)

11. Add the miso to the crock or jar taking care to smash it in fully to the container so that no air bubbles remain. Lightly tapping the jar on a towel on top of a table helps with this too.

12. Sprinkle salt on top of the miso and cover with seaweed and wax paper.

15. Cover the miso with a cloth bag, cheesecloth in multiple layers, or a thin hand towel and rubberband to keep the flies out. It will be sitting for months (or years if you want.)

16. Label and date your miso.  We like to ferment ours for a year or longer. One year in miso fermentation is actually 9 months! The summer months are considered double months.

17. When your ready to harvest your miso, scrape off the top funky layer until you hit a nice colored miso. It will smells yeasty and a lot like hops.                      

18. At this point you can chose to eat the miso in the more chunky state or you can throw it into a food processor so that it's more like a miso paste that you might by in the store from a commercial miso company. Either way works so do what you prefer.

19. Store it in the fridge and eat / enjoy!