Now that it’s getting cold it’s a good time for warm nourishing miso soup and other warm dishes with miso. Here is a small guide to choosing what type of miso to get and some recipes.
We have many types of miso in Japan but all made from fermented soybeans. We use each type for various dishes depending on how strong or light you want the taste. Miso is very good for your health as it is rich in Vitimins B, E, K, and folic acid. Fermented food in general is really good for your stomach as it brings in good bacteria, much the same as yogurt does. If you are making miso soup, after you have boiled all of your vegetables or seafood, turn off the fire and add the miso. Once you have added the miso enjoy the soup. Please don’t boil the miso soup after you have added the miso as that will kill all the good bacteria and vitamins in the miso.
The three types of Miso:
Shiro Miso (White Miso): A very light yellowish miso. It is fermented for less time (2-8 weeks) making it more mild and sweet. If you are new to using miso in your cooking, we recommend that you start with the light one and then use the darker ones later.
It is good for a light soup where you want to accentuate the taste of the vegetables or mushrooms or seafood. This is also a good miso to use for dressings, light marinades, and glazes.
Shinshu Miso (Yellow Miso):
This is the most typical “all purpose” type of miso that is kept in the fridge. It is bit stronger than shiro miso and is good for the same types of food. Marinade, dressings, soups, etc. If the miso is really good we also like to dip raw vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, radish, etc directly.
Aka Miso (Red Miso):
A very dark miso with a color that goes from dark red to brown. This is the strongest and saltiest type of miso. It is made with more soybeans and is fermented for up to 3 years. You only need to add a little to add taste to your dish. This is good for marinating and roasting fish, meats, eggplant (nasu dengaku). It is very delicious when used correctly but be careful not to use too much as it is quite salty.
Some miso recipes that are easy, many recipes can be found online so find one that you seem comfortable making and enjoy experimenting:
- Miso soup (when we can’t find Japanese vegetables we use onions, eggplant, rocket, and a variety of vegetables, fish, seafood)
- Cod fish with Miso Marinade
- Miso Dengaku – Various ingredients grilled with Miso glaze. Eggplant (aubergine), Tofu, Daikon, etc can be used. For this recipe we recommend a darker Miso for a stronger Miso Flavor.
- Steamed or boiled seafood with a light Miso dip or vinaigrette. For this we recommend a light Miso.
- Chicken with scallions and Miso pan grilled.
Enjoy using miso in many ways!