Make Cheese With Miso
I’m really excited to be able to share the work of people I admire. I’ve been following and interacting with Rich Shih/Jean Dough/OurCookQuest for over a decade. He’s always working on something interesting, often focusing on fermented and/or smoked items. He’s someone 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.
How to Make Cheese with Miso
I wanted to make 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 carbohydrates. Ricotta fit the bill.
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 also flavor-developing reactions happening over time. Bacteria and molds also introduce enzymes that make cheese delicious as it ages.
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 carbohydrates to develop complex flavors. It only made sense to inoculate ricotta with this complex flavor builder.
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.
The Chefs Without Restaurants Podcast
Hear Rich Shih and Jeremy Umansky, co-authors of the book Kitchen Alchemy, on Chris Spear’s Chefs Without Restaurants Podcast. For more episodes on fermentation, there’s another one with Jeremy Umansky, the episode with Sarah and Isaiah of White Rose Miso and Keepwell Vinegar, and the episode with Daniel Liberson of Lindera Farms.
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