Raw Black-eyed Pea Miso Paste

raw miso harvest

This miso paste ferment is an experiment using all raw ingredients.

2# 6oz. raw black-eyed peas (soaked and chopped)

2# 8oz. raw barley koji

7.2 oz. salt

Lima bean miso starter (blended in water and strained)


First the koji.  I soaked pearled barley over night, and it puffs up all swollen and soft.  I sifted spores from a previous batch of barley koji into a hotel pan, and tossed the raw soaked barley around in the spores coating them thoroughly.  Then I incubated them at 85° F for 48 hours. (There are many already-published incubation methods for koji, and I won’t go into them here.)


Next the Black-eyed peas (BEP).  I soaked them for 24 hours.  They swell up big, too, and get fairly soft compared to many beans.  I pulsed them slightly with the S-blade in a Cuisinart™ until they were chopped medium.

I put 2 tablespoons of live lima bean miso (not raw) into a cup of water and blended thoroughly.  I let it sit for 20 minutes as the solids (cooked) settled to the bottom of the cup, and then poured off the liquid, which was full of bacteria from its own lacto-ferment.

I then blended the raw barley koji with the starter water, added half the salt, and then mixed this into the chopped BEP.  I packed it into a crock and put a plate and weight on top.  That was 14 months ago. ( I never added more than half the salt as it was salty enough without it to my taste preference.)

blended raw misoHere’s the BEP paste blended in the crock with an immersion blender. (Blending brings out lots of flavor.)

This fermented miso paste tastes much brighter than other BEP miso pastes I’ve made.  It is less complex on the palette, and the flavor of the BEP comes through very strong.  It is very delicious as a broth, and I have not yet experimented with it in any other dishes.


On making a cup of miso broth.


heat the cup

Boil good water. Fill a beautiful cup or mug with the boiling water to heat the vessel.  Once hot, pour the water back into the kettle.  (This cools the water in the kettle.)











Add miso paste and a little cold water, and stir to mix well.add the paste

stir in cold water
















Add hot water to bring temperature up to suite your palette, without killing the miso.top w hot water











^v Click For Comments

10 thoughts on “Raw Black-eyed Pea Miso Paste

  1. Sandor, thanks to you, I’m about to make my first batch of miso. I have already procured organic koji and I’m going to start with my favorite so far: chickpea miso. My question is, have you tried making miso without koji but instead with just miso starter from previous batches? Do the microorganisms in the koji become transformed during the miso-ing so that miso by itself can’t be used as starter?

    A second question: I wasn’t sure which koji to get. The choices were for slow miso, fast miso and amazake. I got slow and amazake (this was before I bought your book), but I probably should have gotten the fast miso variety. Should I just use more and maybe a mixture of slow and amazake kojis?
    Many thanks, Wally.

    • Hello Wally, you’re very welcome (and btw, I’m Favero. I’m a guest blogger on Sandor’s site)
      I have never made miso without koji. Koji does not provide any micro-organisms (the ‘starter’ miso does that). Koji provides enzymes that are crucial to the process. They transform the carbohydrates from the beans into yummy rich flavors characteristic of miso and tamari. (This is called umami, and without the enzymes the miso will taste more like sauerkraut than miso.)
      Regarding the quantity of koji, follow your recipe and don’t be too concerned if the koji is is for a ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ miso. The differences between the two are very subtle and will likely create no discernible difference in the end product.

      • Thanks very much, Favero. Very helpful. I guess I’ll try to channel Sandor and just go for it in true experimentalist fashion. No worries. . . .

  2. Hi there,

    The Raw yellow soy beans are in my pot ready to be cooked. Now I see you can also make is with RAW beans. But arent raw beans toxic? So I guess this toxicity disappears during the fermentation. Will this also count for a yellow sweat miso that only ferment for 1-2 months?

    Kind regards,

    • Saro, I have never made miso paste from soy beans. I’ve used about every other bean available, but not soy. And I have no knowledge that raw beans are toxic, so I cannot address your concern.

    • The easy answer is yes, of course it’s possible. I’ve never tried it. I make miso using half the salt listed in most recipes and books, only because the end product is too salty for my palette otherwise.

      Two rules paramount to fermenting food safely: follow a traditional method, and backslosh from a reliable source.

      Miso traditionally ferments with salt.

  3. Hey Favero,

    If I can get away with it, I’d rather use “hullless” barley than “pearled”. In The Art of F. Sandor points out that although doybean hulls must be separated from the cotyledons, they may still be included in the culturing process for Tempeh (p. 286). However, he refers to Pearled barley (p. 297) for Miso. When referring to Mugi (= barley) Miso in the Book of Miso, (p.37), Wm. Shurtleff mentions that the Koji comes from “polished or pearled” barley. The store I use sells Pearled, as well as Hullless, barley.

    Can I use the Hullless barley for Miso?
    Much obliged,

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