Of course the questions that naturally follow - for me anyways - are,"How can I create this food from my farmers market? How can I make these ingredients from scratch - cutting out the "middleman"?"
Blah, blah, blah . . .
Fast forward, I'm staring at a cabinet full of dried beans from the farmers market. Purchased with the good intention of making my own miso. As with many other projects, I do not fully research the process until I am part of the way into it.
It turns out red miso takes at least 12-18 months to be fully ready, and many miso makers will leave it to develop for much longer. [There is sweet white miso that is ready after 3-6 months] Miso making is an ancient process refined by skilled artisans; or the "middlemen" in this scenario. It turns out they're there for a reason in some cases.
Nevertheless, I'm diving in head first in this one. After fairly extensive, if late, research - I settled on this book for guidance.
|Despite the 80's workout theme, this is an awesome book. It has guided me through many funky smelling endeavors.|
The beans are soaked overnight and boiled until they are soft. They are then ground to the desired consistency, salted, and mixed with the koji - an inoculated grain - and finally packed away in a vessel to ferment of their own accord.
|From left to right, vinton soy beans, adzuki beans, and black soy beans.|
|Koji is an inoculated grain, rice in this case, used to spur the fermentation process.|
|The cooked vinton soy beans, cooked, partially ground and mixed with the koji.|
|The miso in its pots, where it will chillax for the next 18 months.|