Kinzanji miso is to eat as a side dish. It’s not for miso soup, even though it can be used for cooking. But most likely it’s eaten as is. It’s delicious on top of cooked rice or with fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers.
When the last time I made kinzanji miso, I let it spoiled, because I waited too long. The information I got from many sources all indicated that the fermentation process would take at least a week. But mine was actually ready in 3 days.
When I tasted it on the 3rd day, I thought it delicious. I should have believed my taste buds and should have moved the container into the fridge, but I waited longer, relying on the information I got. As a result, the batch ended up sour and smelled weird, which is a tell tale sign of over fermentation. I tried to salvage or recycle it in vain. I had to discard it.
I begged my friend in Japan to send me another package of kinzanji koji, as it cannot be obtained in the United States. This time I didn’t want to fail, so I let it ferment in the fridge, even though it would take much longer than fermenting it in room temperature.
I made 2 batches of kinzanji miso. One batch is with ginger, preserved shiso leaves and seeds, and carrots (picture above on the left). Another is with red peppers and olives (picture above on the right).
I mixed the ingredients on March 4, so it took about 7 weeks, but both of the batches turned out well. I just wish to reduce the amount of salt next time.