We believe miso is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to step into fermenting legumes. Miso is a fermented bean paste, with deep Asian origins. These vary regionally. The most common is a fermented mixture of soybeans and koji and salt. The magic of miso lies in a fermentation brought about by the enzymes in the fungus, koji. Don't worry you will be a koji expert by the end of chapter 3. Over weeks, months, or years the enzymes in the koji work with the microorganisms in the paste to break down the larger structures of the beans and grains into amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars.

This process is a method of collaborating and employing microbes to bring out these deep flavors. It is now being used around the world in application on manners of substrates. At the simplest level replacing the traditional beans or grains with say pinto beans and corn.

What You Will Learn

  • What is miso and how it works, my goal is always to make fermentation intuitive

  • You will be introduced to koji and how it works, and where to get koji

  • In this class you will also understand legumes. You will learn the best ways to prepare beans for eating and miso making. We will talk about the health aspects of eating beans and soy.

  • Through video lessons and a downloadable workbook, you will follow along making traditional miso, as well as modern iterations—a shiitake tasty paste and a sourdough tasty paste. These will help you invent your own miso recipes.

  • You will learn how to age and store miso

Course curriculum

  • 02

    Welcome to Miso Class

  • 03

    Koji -- A brief introduction

    • What is Koji?

    • Sourcing Koji Grains

    • How-to hydrate dried koji

  • 04

    What makes a miso/tasty paste?

    • How is miso made? Just 4 Ingredients equal infinite possibility

    • What is seed miso and do I need it?

    • Clay, Wood, Plastic and Glass: The Renaissance of Ambient Fermentation Vessels and How to Find the One that’s Right for You

  • 05

    Let's talk about legumes

    • How to Soak Beans

    • Introduction to Beans

    • How to Steam Soy Beans

    • Cooking Beans Stove Top

  • 06

    Putting it all together

    • Let's Make a Traditional-style Miso

    • How long does miso last? Aging and storing your miso and tasty pastes

    • Let's Make Shiitake Tasty Paste (or Mushroom Miso)

    • Build more skills: Bread Tasty Paste, using the tasty paste technique for a zero-waste kitchen

  • 07

    Miso Soup Recipes

    • Cuppa Miso -- simple drinking miso

    • More resources for you

Meet Your Instructor

Instructor Bio:

Hi, I'm Kirsten and I ferment things. I began fermenting on our 40-acres small holding of wooded hillside on unceded Takelma territory over 2 decades ago. I didn't have the language to say that was what I was doing, I just taught myself to preserve everything that we grew. I didn't have a clue or the internet but I had plenty of passion and idealism to figure out how it was done "old school" and maybe, most importantly, I had nobody that told me I couldn't do this. My passion for food systems has been with me for over 3 decades and at some point, the two collided and as my responsibilities to raising children waned. I found myself sharing the passion and joy of working with microbes to create delicious healthy food first locally then globally. In this desire to see everyone have access to fermentation I've co-written (with my husband Christopher) the books Fermented Vegetables, Fiery Ferments, Miso, Tempeh, Natto and Other Tasty Ferments, The Big Book of Cidermaking and Homebrewed Vinegar. I have a lot of great fails. I think working with tempeh has given me the most humility as I've learned to push it past soy beans. The most expensive fail was the 30 gallons of sauerkraut that was fine in all ways except the texture--which was spreadable like butter. There is no market for spreadable kraut--yet. I am delighted to be able to share what I know with you here. Feel free to reach out through this platform or at

Kirsten K. Shockey

Fermentation Educator & Author

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