I’m really excited to be able to share the work of people I admire. I’ve been following Jean Dough (@ourcookquest) on Twitter for a few years now. He’s always working on something interesting, quite often focusing on fermented and/or smoked items. He’s one of those people who throws a little of everything at the wall to see what sticks. When I first thought about featuring other people on my website, he was the first one I contacted. I’m pleased to share his recipe for Miso Cheese. Please be sure to check out his blog OurCookQuest. As always, feedback is appreciated. We’d love to see some comments.

Miso Method Cheese Making

I wanted to make a miso with base ingredients way outside the grain and legume box. My motivation was to see how the koji transforms a high fat and protein medium with limited carbohydrate. Ricotta fit the bill.

Ricotta + Koji + Time = Miso Cheese

Ricotta + Koji + Time = Miso Cheese

In cheese making, rennet isn’t anything but a combination of enzymes. It’s well known purpose is to coagulate milk to make cheese, but there are flavor developing reactions happening over time. Bacteria and molds also introduce enzymes that make cheese delicious as it ages.

Ricotta on a Bed of Jasmine Koji

Ricotta on a Bed of Jasmine Koji

If you think about enzymes yielding a delicious product over a long period, miso isn’t much different from cheese. Koji has protease, lipase and amylase for breaking down protein, fat and carbohydrate to develop complex flavors. It only made sense to inoculate ricotta with this complex flavor builder.

Mashed Ricotta Jasmine Koji

Mashed Ricotta Jasmine Koji

After a month in the refrigerator, it tasted like a Parmesan miso infused sweet ricotta. I plan to press and age it to see what happens. Making miso cheese is simple. All you need is equal parts by weight of ricotta and koji then add 5% salt against the total. Mash it all up and store it in a container with plastic wrap against the ricotta refrigerated for at least a month.

Shortly after, I started a batch of peanut butter miso. We’ll see how that turns out.

If you like what you see, please consider hiring me for an in-home dinner or cooking lesson. I run a personal chef business based out of Frederick, MD. Get more information here. Thank you.

Chris Spear

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