Miso making in Hoshino Village

From the 17th to the 20th of January we headed for Hoshino village in the Yame area. Our aim was to produce a big amount of Miso, a substance that can be used for a great variety on Japanese foods. For example the well known Miso soup.

 

We started on Thursday with washing and cooking the rice, more than about 200 kg.

For the beginning that was all, but after the rice cooked for more than six hours and cooled down for a day, it still wasn’t cool enough and had to be brought on a lower temperature. Therefore we had a little help from a giant fan, which blowed the heat out of every single grain. We mixed it with “kouji”, a kind of mould which is needed for the production of Miso, because it promotes the process of fermentation, and filled it into a very big cauldron. The next step was to heaten the rice again for a whole night. The day after this part began again with the rice that had to be refined, because over night it became doughy and needed some special treatment with our own hands. It was lucky that we were enough people on this weekend otherwise it would have taken hours to improve the quality. Furthermore the soy beans had to be washed and cooked, a procedure similar to the one done with the rice before. By the way, we used soy beans that were grown by us on the fallow rice field which was donated to Groundwork Fukuoka some time ago. On the last step we needed to divide our ingredients into portions, so they can be mixed together. Involving a giant “mixer” we did this without any problems and filled the new created mass into buckets where it had to be stamped in really hard, so it can get its typical consistence. With an airtight seal on it, it will now store in a cool and dark place for about half a year.

 

A lot of people were interested and attended, so it was really an enjoying event for all participants. Also particularly funny was the “manju” making part, a kind of Japanese sweet made out of dough, common Wormwood and red bean paste or a sweet potato. That was a nice deflection for the long hours when we had to wait for the rice to become ready for further usage. In appreciation to this weekend we could again fulfil our goals, which include bringing together people from the city and farming people. Furthermore we could use what we created ourselves.
 
   
 
written by
Mathias
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