Make Homemade Miso from scratch with just 3 ingredients and a little patience. My simple step-by-step instructions on How to Make Miso will guide you through this process. Once it is made, you can use the amazing fermented paste for many delicious Japanese dishes!
Gather all the ingredients. Besides this, you will need 2 large bowls (one should be a very big one), 1 strainer, Instant Pot (or pressure cooker or a large pot), a clean cloth, alcohol (shochu or vodka), a potato masher (or a food processor), a 1-gallon glass jar to put miso in, and a bag of 1 kg (2.2 lb) table salt.
Gently wash the soybeans thoroughly several times under running water. P.S. The foam seen in the images here is not soap.
Drain the beans. Look how large the beans are now. The right soybean is before soaking, and left two soybeans are after 18 hours of soaking. After soaking, total soybeans weigh 1435 g.
Add the soybeans into the inner pot of Instant Pot. Fill the pot with filtered water to about ½ inch (1.2 cm) above the beans (roughly 8 cup line of the pot).
Close the lid and set HIGH pressure for 20 minutes. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”.
STOVETOP OPTION: Alternatively, you can cook the beans on the stovetop. Bring to a boil over high heat, skim off the surface scum, lower to a simmer, and cook for about 3-4 hours, uncovered, until the beans are soft. Add water as needed during simmering to keep the soybeans submerged in just enough water.
Mashed soybeans must be warm/room temperature (NEVER hot) before combining them with the koji because hot soybeans can kill koji mold. Mashing takes time unless you make a small batch, so you don’t need to worry about the soybeans being hot in this recipe.
Using your hands, form tennis ball-sized balls with mashed soybeans.
Put each ball into the container and mash it with your fist and knuckle to ensure that all air pockets have been eliminated. Do one layer at a time, and make sure to press down tightly. If you have a glass jar, you can see if you miss any pockets by looking from the side of the jar.
Put heavy objects (or rocks) on top of the miso. I put 1 kg (2.2 lb) of table salt (cheaper than the sea salt) in a plastic bag and put it on top.
Stir the miso from the bottom up once a month to avoid mold forming. When checking the miso, do so quickly to avoid exposure to air. If you see any mold on the surface, carefully scrape it off. Clean the inside surface walls of the container with a shochu-soaked cloth to deter mold. Smooth the surface, place a new plastic wrap on top, and put the weight back on top. Place the container back to a dark and cool place for another 3 months.
Remove the weights once the miso is done and store it in the refrigerator to prevent from over-fermenting. You can divide the miso into smaller containers so they will fit in your refrigerator. Now you can enjoy your own miso paste made with patience, love, and perseverance.
This miso recipe is based on this Japanese miso company's tutorial. Please understand that this recipe is work in progress. I will be updating accordingly.
Soybeans: 1 cup of dry soybeans is 180 g.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.