Updated: January 22, 2018
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Miso: The Most Essential & Useful Japanese Ingredient!

"Miso", (味噌) is a fermented soybean paste, which is used in many Japanese dishes to add thickness and deepness to the flavour. There are so many kinds of miso and each has their own feature of taste. This post will introduce the full line-up of all kinds of miso and how you can use them.

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What is miso(味噌) and different kinds of miso

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"Miso", (味噌) is a fermented soybean paste, which is used in many Japanese dishes to add thickness and deepness to the flavour. There are so many kinds of miso and each has their own feature of taste. Miso can be categorised by its colour, and its saltiness, as well as whether or not it is mixed with some other ingredients.

Akamiso (赤味噌): Red miso

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Akamiso(赤味噌) is one of the most commonly used types of miso. The reddish colour of akamiso comes from the long fermenting time. Regionally, akamiso is very popular in Tokai Area and there are some regional miso brands such as Hacchomiso in Aichi. Akamiso has a very strong and thick taste.

Shiromiso (白味噌): White miso

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Shiromiso (白味噌) is a type of miso which is as popular as akamiso. The taste of shiromiso is more gentle and soft, compared to akamiso. Shiromiso will be perfect for your first choice when trying miso.

Awasemiso (合わせ味噌): Combination of both red and white

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Awasemiso (合わせ味噌) is simply a combination of akamiso and shiromiso. Awasemiso has both features of akamiso and shiromiso. The taste of awasemiso changes with the ratio of akamiso and shiromiso in its mix.

Komemiso (米味噌): Rice based miso

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Komemiso (米味噌) is a miso made from soybeans and komekoji (fermented rice). Komemiso is usually produced in the Tohoku region, which is also famous for producing good quality rice.

Mugimiso (麦味噌): Oat based miso

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With a mixture of soybeans and oats, Mugimiso (麦味噌) has a sweet taste. Mugimiso is often produced and eaten in the Shikoku and Kyushu regions. The rough texture of oats is also a thing to note.

Mamemiso (豆味噌): Bean based miso

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Since miso's main ingredient is soybeans, mamemiso (豆味噌) is a kind of miso which is made from 100% soybeans only. The Tokai area is famous for its great mamemiso which has a deep and thick taste. It also has a bit of bitterness just like black chocolate!

How to properly preserve your miso

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Even though miso is a fermented product, which lasts for days and weeks, it's important to preserve it properly. Before opening, there is no need to be put in the refrigerator. Once you've opened your miso, it would be better to keep it in the refrigerator. You can also keep it in the freezer since miso will not freeze even at -20 Celsius.

Try some miso for the real Japanese taste!

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Miso is an essential ingredient in Japanese dishes. They add so much deepness and great taste!

Try some miso to taste the real Japan!
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