Recipe: Homemade Mugi Miso

Miso is a delicious, pungent, thick paste that is used to flavor soups, sauces, and other savory dishes. "Mugi miso" is miso made with barley koji. It takes quite a long time to ferment, but if you have the patience, the result is worth it! Miso can also be made with other legumes such as chickpeas, but soy is the most common type. The most reliable way to measure ingredients is by weight to achieve the right proportions for fermentation.


  • 3 3/4 cups whole soybeans
  • 2 1/2 cups barley koji
  • 3/4 to 1 cup, depending on coarseness of the sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups water from cooking the soybeans


  1. Soak and cook the soybeans until soft, saving 1 3/4 cups of the cooking water for later use. Cool soybeans to room temperature.
  2. Mix all ingredients well. Place the mixture in a clean container without any space. Sprinkle sea salt on the surface. Place plastic wrap over the top to eliminate exposure to air.
  3. Place a good lid and a one-pound weight on top to maintain pressure on the mixture. Ferment until ready. The fermentation period will be shorter during warmer months with a total period of approximately 6 months if fermentation is started in the spring and 10 months if fermentation is started in the fall.
  4. The finished miso will be a thick paste, about the consistency of mashed potatoes. Use as directed in recipes, or just put a tablespoon or two in a cup of hot water for a nourishing broth!

Miso paste will last for a year or more in the refrigerator.


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