Nomura-san, who presently helms Horikawaya Nomura, is an eighteenth-generation maker of soy and miso products in Gobo, Japan. Here, his family has honed their craft since 1688, sustaining traditional techniques while modernizing enough to remain revered and requested around the world. This Aka, or Red Miso, undergoes three years of fermentation in wooden barrels, imparting an incredibly assertive, complex medley of sweetness, umami, and perfectly tuned funk. As a marinade, this miso will deliver tremendously, but it can also infuse any dish with vitality when employed as a finishing touch.
Though it is easy to overtly romanticize centuries-old operations like Horikawaya Nomura, they say, quite frankly, “people think we are eccentric, but we believe in our philosophy, which never changes.” In the simplest terms, their practice relies upon soaking organic soybeans from Hokkaido Prefecture, steaming them over wood fire, and then inoculating them with carefully nurtured and selected koji mold, or Aspergillus oryzae, the backbone of so many staples of East Asian cuisine. From there, the key ingredients are time and attention, and as they continue, “[our recipe] depends on natural conditions which can’t always be controlled . . . but we brewers always endeavor to achieve perfection.”
Miso must be refrigerated
Ingredients: soybeans, barley, salt