Healthy Eating, Japanese Food

Miso

As I was checking out at a grocery store, a lady saw me buying a Miso and asked me what to do with it.  Having grown up in Japan, keeping a Miso or two in the fridge was nothing special rather normal, but Miso sure can be a mystery to some people.  So, let’s find out some basic information about Miso and what to do with it!

Miso comes with several flavours, such as; White Miso and Red Miso in a sealed container.  These two are the major ones both in Japan and North America.  However, you can also find something like Kome Miso (rice Miso), Mugi Miso (barley Miso), and Soybean Miso.  I am going to explain about two major ones for now.

-White Miso (Shiro Miso):
It is usually made from a lot of white rice, and a little bit of soybeans; hence loaded with carbohydrates compared with other Miso and sweeter taste.

-Red Miso (Aka Miso):
It is made from white rice, barley or soybeans by a natural fermentation that takes about one to three years. It has the highest protein amount of all the Miso with salty taste.

Typical usage:
As you might have guessed, “Miso-soup” is the most famous usage for Miso.  I have its recipe on this website (please go to “Recipe”), but you can also find various recipes everywhere online and offline.  The tricky part is that you need to adjust the amount of the Miso that you are putting into your soup.  As I have described above, depnding on the flavour you choose, tastes can vary.  Simply put, the darker colored Miso is, saltier and earthier it tastes!  I would start giving a bit less of the serving amount described on a recipe and would keep adding the Miso till it tastes right for you.
A tip for adding Miso to a soup is to thin it out in a container since it is pretty hard to do so in a pot.

Where to find it:
Most of the grocery stores or health food stores carry Miso these days.  They should be at temperature at Asian foods section, rarely in the fridge.

How to keep it:
Once you open the container, keep it in the fridge.  Depending on the kind you get, I would try to use it within 3 months to 6 months.  Read a lable on a container carefully.

Nutritional benefits:
Though Miso contains quite high in sodium, it is commonly recommended as a B12 source.  Also, a table spoon of Miso contains 2 grams of protein.

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