Enough whining about not being technical enough to keep up a blog. I just hafta take the plunge! Guess I will start with one of the exciting projects that I was involved in over the weekend. First of all: a bunch of friends and I got together and made homemade miso!!! We did it four years ago and then again over the weekend. The process goes like this:
1. Order your daizu (soybeans) (my roommate did this from an online shop–ours were organic!)
2. Soak them overnight (we ordered 10kg and so we had to divide them into four huge pots!)
3. Boil them and let ’em simmer until they’re nice and soft (about two hours) .
4. Gather all your friends together, give them each a smashing utensil, spread out a plastic cover onto a large table, dump out your beans, and get to work!!
5. After the beans are as smashed as you can get them (you can crush the last stragglers between your fingers!), dump out your koji (rice malt–we ordered ours with salt) and then knead the whole mixture together until it’s good and mixed in. (You can have fun making cool and zany shapes with them, as we did!)
6. The next step is to form the dough into small balls and then toss them back and forth between your palms in order to work out the excess air pockets. Once this has been done, you take whatever vessels you want to store the miso in (we used a plastic bucket and a ceramic vat) and put the whole mixture inside. There is a special technique that must be used here, however: your aim is to get out any pesky little residual air bubbles by *smashing* the dough balls into the container. We made a game out of it by rotating around the table and dunking them into the jars like we were basketball stars or something. Ha!
7. Put your lids on the containers, and you’re done! Well, at least for the next half-year or so, as you let the koji do its work on the soybean mixture. After about six months, you can take the lid off and scrape away whatever mold has formed (unless you just want to mix it on in, which some people actually do!). You can either dig in at this point, or stir it up and let it sit for another month or so in order to have extra rich miso. Whichever way, enjoy your yummy treat in soups, as a cooking sauce, or as a dip for carrots, daikon, etc. Mmmmm!!