Miso Making Slideshow by John Belleme

The slideshow below is a work of John Belleme, co-author of The Miso Book. John and Jan Belleme spent seven months in rural Japan in the late 1970s learning to make traditional Japanese miso.

Miso Making Family, The Onozaki Miso Company

This photo shows four generations of miso makers at the Onozaki Miso Company in rural Japan. The Onozaki family hosted Jan and John Belleme in the 1970′s for their miso making apprenticeship. The pages of this site contain over 70 photos taken by Jan and John covering the miso making process including koji making and many interesting aspects of Japanese culture.

Photo by John Belleme, author of The Miso Book with over 130 miso recipes.

Sleeping in the Miso Making House

Jan Belleme sits beside the pile of sleeping blankets in a traditional miso making house in rural Japan. The house does not have any central heat and has rice paper windows. While cool in the hot summers, the house is very cold in the winter and requires many layers to stay warm. Jan and John stayed in this house for over 6 months learning to make traditional Japanese miso.

Photo by John Belleme, author of The Miso Book with over 130 miso recipes.

Types of Miso

The photo above shows all the main ingredients of miso and several popular types. Raw soybeans make up the base for this photo. On the left you can see sea salt, then raw un-milled rice. These three ingredients in different ratios make up them main types of miso. Here you can see sweet white miso in the top left, red miso in the top right, and dark miso in the lower right corner.

Photo by John Belleme, author of The Miso Book with over 130 miso recipes.

Raw, Unmilled Rice, a Core Ingredient of Miso Making

Brown rice, or raw un-milled rice is one of the starting ingredients for miso making. The rice will be milled, cooked and molded into koji. The koji, a fermentation starter, will then be added to cook soybeans, salt and water to make raw miso. It is then transfered into miso making barrels where it will ferment for several months or up to several years depending on the type of miso being made.

Photo by John Belleme, author of The Miso Book with over 130 miso recipes.