I’m so so excited for Kirsten and Christopher Shockey’s new book all about Miso, Tempeh and Natto. I have adored their previous books and am always impressed with their knowledge and their ability to simplify instructions to make it easy to follow at home. In this book, they provide a step-by-step guide to fermenting grains and beans, even tackling how to grow your own koji (which is my next ferment project). And I am SO SO excited that they have given me a copy of their book to gift to one of you and a recipe to share with all of you today! This Sweet White Miso is delicious and a great first miso to attempt at home. And to enter to win the book, you’ll find contest details below the recipe.
Sweet White Miso
White misos are the gateway misos. Sweet and gentle, they are easy to love and easy to eat. This basic recipe is similar to a type of sweet miso that is traditionally made in Kyoto, Japan. It is like a soft cheese — delicious, delicate, and not as shelf stable as some of its cousins. This miso has a high concentration of koji rice, the least amount of soy, and a low-salt brine, and during fermentation it becomes almost custard like.
YIELD: ABOUT 1 QUART
1 cup (175 g) dry soybeans
3½ cups (600 g) light Rice Koji (Note from Kathrin - GTA readers you can buy koji at Ontario Sake in Toronto’s Distillery District)
2½ tablespoons (42 g) salt, plus extra to prep the vessel and top the miso
1 tablespoon (16 g) unpasteurized miso (see note below)
Note: Any unpasteurized miso will work, but we prefer to use white if it is available.
1. Soak the beans for 8 to 24 hours. If you’re making your own koji, time the soaking with the koji cycle; you will want your beans to be cooked when your koji is ready to come out of the tray.
2. Boil the soybeans in plenty of water until they are soft, about 1 hour, or steam them in an electric pressure cooker for 45 minutes. Drain, reserving the bean cooking water, and then spread them out on a tray to cool slightly and steam off moisture.
3. When the beans have cooled to below 100°F/38°C, combine them in a bowl with the koji and 2½ tablespoons of the salt. Mash together with a potato masher, or put through a meat grinder if you have one. Add the miso and thoroughly mix. Add enough of the bean cooking water to achieve the desired consistency — it should be chunky and dryish, like mashed potatoes.
4. Using a bit of the bean cooking water, rinse the inside of your fermentation jar or crock, making sure to coat all of the surface. Then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt into the jar, making sure to coat all the sides and the bottom of the vessel.
5. Spoon the bean mixture into your jar or crock, doing your best to remove as many air bubbles as possible.
6. Set a small piece of unbleached cotton cloth or parchment paper cut to fit the diameter of your vessel on top. Sprinkle about ½ tablespoon of the salt along the edges of this cover to seal any gaps. Weight the miso as best you can.
7. Cover the entire vessel with cloth or paper, securing it in place, and allow to age at room temperature (78°F/26°C is ideal, and no lower than 50°F/10°C). We have found that the flavors become perfect in 3 to 5 weeks.
When you are ready to harvest your miso, open it up. You may need to scrape off the top surface until you get to something that looks nice and rich in color. You can either strain off the tamari (the liquid pooling on the top of the miso) or you can mix it back into the miso and eat it as is. Stir the miso deeply from top to bottom to allow the air back into it. Your miso may be chunky; if you prefer a smoother paste, process it in a grinder or food processor. Place in an airtight container, top with parchment paper, and store in the refrigerator. The miso will keep indefinitely.
Excerpted from Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments by © Kirsten and Christopher Shockey. Photography by © Dina Avila. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Win a copy of the book!
I’m running an Instagram Giveaway Contest on Tuesday, June 25th! To enter, follow me on Instagram and enter by midnight for your chance to win a copy of this incredible book. GOOD LUCK!