What is miso? It’s a typical Japanese seasoning.
Written by aki
Miso(みそ) is an indispensable seasoning in the Japanese diet.
Miso is made from soybeans.
It is a seasoning made by boiling soybeans, adding koji and salt, and fermenting and maturing the mixture.
*Koji is a grain such as rice, wheat, or soybeans on which microorganisms effective for food fermentation are propagated.
How many types of miso are there?
Japanese miso can be broadly divided into four types.
1. Kome Miso(Rice Miso)
Rice miso is made from rice koji, and 80% of miso in Japan is rice miso.
2. Mugi Miso(Barley Miso)
This miso is made from barley malt.
This miso is favored in the Kyushu region and is sometimes referred to as “country miso”.
It has a subtle aroma of barley.
3. Mame Miso(Soybean Miso)
This miso is made from soybean koji. It is characterized by its strong color and taste.
In Nagoya, dishes using this miso are abundant.
4. Mixed Miso
This miso is made by mixing two or more types of miso.
Miso is called “Aka-Miso(赤みそ),” ” Tanshoku-Miso(淡色みそ),” and “Shiro-Miso(白みそ),” respectively, depending on the color of the finished product!
Incidentally, there are many different kinds of miso throughout Japan, said to number in the thousands.
Why is miso good for you?
Miso produces large amounts of amino acids and vitamins during the fermentation process of soybeans.
Especially the amino acids, of which there are eight!
It also contains many other nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and dietary fiber.
How do you eat miso?
Here are three dishes you can eat in Japan that use miso!
1. Miso soup
The standard is still soup.
The flavor of miso can be felt directly.
Since different regions use different miso, it might be interesting to compare miso soups from different regions.
2. Miso Stewed Udon Noodles
Miso is also used in noodle dishes.
Slowly simmering the noodles allows the miso flavor to soak into the noodles, giving them a rich taste.
3. Miso sauce
Miso miso with cooking sake, mirin, and sugar is served over a variety of foods.
It is also delicious dipped in vegetables.
For more information on Japanese seasonings, check out this article.
I sometimes combine miso and mayonnaise and rub it on my fish and grill it!
Nutritious Japanese food, you gotta try it!