Exceptional Miso

Posted on Mar 11, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

After exceptional shoyu, I want to introduce you to an exceptional miso which was introduced us on March 6th event. Thank you, Uchiyama san, for donating your delicious miso for the demonstration. Everyone loved the rich flavor of the miso in the miso ramen.

Here is the photo from the event. Mr. Uchiyama is standing on the right side of me; he is twice taller than I am.

Uchiyama Miso company was founded in 1872 (www.mizukinosho.com). The present 6th generation president thought that the only way to survive the fierce competition as a miso brewer is to produce very high quality miso. So he suggested to his father to abandon the popular automated production method and bring back the artisan production – his grandfather’s method. Since his grandfather already deceased and could not get the information, he traveled across the country to visit small old brewers and gather the how-to-produce miso in artisan method. Today his company produces one of the best artisan miso in Japan. The secret of producing good miso is the use of soybean koji (fermentation starter) along with rice koji in the production. Uchiyama-san told me that soybean koji shortens the fermentation period, at the same time, triples the flavor and aroma of miso in the finished miso.

In order to diversify his business, he build a restaurant, Cafe Mizukinosho, next to his factory, where healthy and delicious lunch and sweets are served. Everyone who visited the restaurant is crazy about their miso flavored pudding. I will definitely try it when I visit Japan.
Flavorful Shoyu Ramen Broth

For my ramen demonstration and tasting offering at March 6th event Kurosawa Shoyu (another visiting food manufacturer from Ibaraki Prefecture and founded in 1905) donated me one of his company’s exclusive shoyu (soy sauce), Niemon Shoyu. Niemon Shoyu is produced using Saishikomi method. Ordinary shoyu is made with toasted wheat, steamed soybeans and salt water. In the Saishikomi method salt water is replaced with high quality produced shoyu, therefore the resulting shoyu has doubled or tripled flavor and aroma. Saishikomi mehod costs money to the company, but Kurosama Shoyu (http://www.fujini-shouyu.co.jp/) commits to produce shoyu which are exceptional. I flavored pork belly in the mixture of Niemon Shoyu, mirin and sake, and used the cooking liquid to flavor the ramen stock. Look at the attendees (photo) who are enjoying the very special ramen. Mr. Kurosawa has a big dream. He wants to market his shoyu someday in the future in USA. Ganbatte-kudasai.