My Family's Mild Sweet Miso

My Family's Mild Sweet Miso

Homemade miso takes effort but is delicious! There's a trick to our family's miso recipe when the beans are cooked The beans become sweet, which means the miso is sweet too.

Ingredients: yields 4 kg

Soy beans
1 kg
Rice koji
1 kg
490 g
Starter miso (use storebought miso)
250 g
Shochu (white liquor), 35% alcohol (for disinfecting)


1. Soak the soy beans overnight (12 hours) in about 3 times the amount of the beans of water. Drain off the soaking water. Put the soy beans in a "no-water pot" (a pot that doesn't require the addition of a lot of water), add just enough water to cover the beans, and start cooking. (If you cook the beans in a regular pot with lots of water, it may take about 3 hours.)
2. If you cook the beans in a "no-water pot" for about 30 minutes, the beans will become soft enough the mash with your fingers. (They'll still be firm, but you can mash them.) Mash the beans up with a potato masher or in a food processor (while the beans are still warm).
3. Put the salt and rice koji in a bowl, and rub them together with your hands.
4. Sterilize a miso pot with boiling water, then wipe it with a piece of cotton wool impregnated with shochu (a high alcohol distilled white liquor). Put half of the starter miso (storebought miso) to the pot (about 125 g) and spread it on the bottom.
5. Combine the salt and koji mixture from Step 3 with the mashed soy beans from Step 2 in a bowl. Add the remaining starter miso, and mix well.
6. Form the mixture into balls.
7. Put the balls into the pot from Step 1 little by little leaving no gaps.
8. Push down hard with your palms to level out the surface.
9. Cover the miso with plastic wrap so that it's not exposed to air. Place a weight on top.
10. Cover the pot with a lid, and wrap it up with newspaper. Put the pot in a cool, dark place. Check on it every 3 months. It should be ready to eat after the summer.
11. ☆ If a soy sauce like liquid comes out of the miso, just mix it in. ☆ If mold grows on the miso, just scoop off that part. ☆ When the rainy season in June is over, mix the miso up from the bottom to expose it to air. It's a good idea to wipe down the pot with shochu again at this time.
12. ☆ The equipment you need ☆ A miso pot; a large pot; a large bowl; a potato masher or a food processor; a weight, or use a bag of salt as a weight instead; plastic wrap; newspaper; string.

Story Behind this Recipe

When I exchanged miso with a friend who also makes her own miso, I discovered that our miso is quite mild and has a sweet taste. I think the only difference is that the soy beans are cooked with less water than hers. If you nibble on the cooked soy beans in Step 1, they are so tasty.