Black bean Miso with Smoked Salt

Ingredients:

5 lbs. rice koji (10 cups volume of uncooked rice)

10 lbs. cooked black beans (5# dry weight)

Salt (8%  by weight), plus 5 T. smoked salt

Hijiki seaweed  (2 oz.)

Garlic; fresh crushed (2 heads)

Red pepper flakes (handful)

I started this batch of miso in May 2011.  I harvested the tamari after 6 weeks, and replenished with salt brine.  This miso formed no mold during its ferment, and I harvested tamari again when I harvested the miso last week.  The second harvest of tamari tasted just as good as the first, which, for some reason, surprised me.

Under the plate.

This batch of miso was also very wet, and it might be because I did not smash the beans well in the beginning. As you can see from the pics, the beans and koji are still intact (and the beans very tasty to eat whole).  I used about half the miso to ferment duck and chicken egg yolks.  They’ll be ready in about 6 months.  I then used an immersible blender to homogenize some of the miso into a thick uniform paste.

Black Bean tamari harvest.

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6 thoughts on “Black bean Miso with Smoked Salt

  1. I have salted chicken egg yokes. I would like to know how you plan to do your egg yolks in miso, and also how you plan to use them afterwards? Any ideas would be welcome!

    Kind regards,
    Brenda

    • Brenda: I’ve fermented a few dozen yolks, both chicken and duck. Check back in a week or two and I’ll post a full description on how I do it. For some reason, the fermented yolk is very rich, and little goes a long way. I enjoy the ferment spread on good bread or crostini. Also very yummy tossed in fresh pasta- my favorite is pan-fried buckwheat noodles tossed with smoked fermented yolk with a splash of rice or Szechuan pepper wine vinegar. And, or course, I love to put a small dollop on my tongue and lie on the couch and bliss out.

  2. Hi there!
    Just made this recipe yesterday. Did a 48 hr koji which resulted in a fat hairy mat, best I have made so far. Then the black midnight beans from Rancho Gordo were simmered with a 3 in piece of kombu until tender. Allowed them to cool, then food processed them to a smooth paste, added the koji and sea salt. Used XXX% salt for the recipe, and dusted the surface with the last few grams.

    I had two questions:
    1) I used a patent jar with a slight shoulder/narrowing at the top. Managed to make a small weight with a small mason jar, but it didn’t get the whole surface, which is otherwise covered with a layer of saran wrap on top of salt. How critical is it for the whole surface to be weighted? I was very meticulous with getting all the air out of the miso.

    2)I did not use a starter miso, just the beans, salt, kombu, and koji. Is this OK?

    Bonus question) Do I need to stir the koji at all? Or does it sit for the next year undisturbed?

    Thanks!

    • Two important rules for food safety in fermenting: 1) use a traditional method, and 2) use a reliable back slosh. You have broken both rules.

      Miso fermentation uses lactic acid forming bacteria (not unlike kimchi). Steaming the rice for the koji, and boiling the beans kills all organisms on those substrates. If you don’t back slosh with a living starter miso, some other undesirable organism(s) may colonize the miso first, and the outcome could be putrid.

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