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What is Miso?

Miso (味噌)is one of my favorite ingredients in Japanese cuisine. Tasty, with a smooth consistency and full of umami, it will become one of your pantry must-haves.

It is made from the fermentation process of salt soybeans, barley and/or rice. Start by steaming the soybeans. To this is added sea salt and kōji which, as we have seen in the sake section, is the aspergillus oryzae fungus cultivated in rice.

Aka miso and shiro miso - what is miso? ingredients of japanese cuisine

Finally, it is left to ferment in covered containers for several months. During this time, the miso ferments and releases a protein-rich liquid called tamari. This by-product of miso processing is one of the types of soy sauce.

Types of Miso

Although there are hundreds of varieties of miso, the 3 most common types are:

Shiro miso (白味噌).

It is made with a lower percentage of soybeans and a higher concentration of kōji. Known as white miso, this miso has a short fermentation period. Its flavor is described as sweet and mild, making it perfect for soups, marinades and dressings.

Aka miso (赤味噌).

It is the miso with the longest fermentation time which gives it a more concentrated flavor. This reddish miso is made with a higher proportion of fermented soybeans than white or yellow miso. Its intense flavor helps to give depth to stews and hearty dishes.

Awase miso (合わせ味噌).

It is a miso mixture of two or more types of miso. It is common to find mixtures of shiro miso and aka miso, giving it the delicate flavor of white and the potency of red. This is a versatile and popular miso in Japanese cuisine.

How to preserve it.

Miso is best stored in an airtight container in the freezer. In this way, you will maintain its flavor and probiotic properties. When we freeze the miso, it does not harden, but continues to maintain a soft texture, so you can spoon out the amount you need at any time without having to defrost it.

Recipes with miso

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