View Full Version : More about Miso, please...
11-22-2004, 06:22 AM
Can someone please tell me more about this Miso I keep seeing in various recipes. What is it, exactly? What are the different varieties and what is the difference between each variety?
I've seen it in my local store that I go to, but it sure didn't specify "white" or "dark"...it had some other names (that I can't recall) and the packaging sure didn't help either as to which was white or dark.
Also, what does it lend to a recipe...why is it used/needed? Is there anything that can substitute for it or can it be omitted altogether?
I see two recipes that I was interested in until I saw that ingredient and those recipes were the "Noasted Turkey" and the "Caesar Dressing"
Thanks in advance!
11-22-2004, 07:12 AM
The only miso I know of is cooked. You use so little in a recipe that I would not worry about it. It is very salty thou.It adds a lot of flavo to a recipe ;)
11-22-2004, 08:48 AM
11-22-2004, 09:10 AM
Miso is a soybean paste and as flutterfly discussed very salty. I used as a broth when I used to cook greens. Now I dissolve it in warm water and add mushrooms and green onions as a soup.
Here is what I found -
Miso (fermented bean paste) is a concentrated, savory paste made from soybeans--often mixed with a grain such as rice, barley, or wheat--that is fermented with a yeast mold (koji) and then combined with salt and water. The mixture is aged from one month to three years. While it is a good source of protein and carbohydrates, miso is, nonetheless, high in sodium and should be consumed sparingly if you are salt-sensitive.
Miso is versatile: It can be used in a soup, marinades, dressings, stews, dips, and casseroles; though Americans are probably most familiar with miso soup, which is a combination of miso paste (usually hatcho miso; see below) and dashi (Japanese stock made from dried bonito flakes).
There are two methods for making miso paste: traditional and commercial. The traditional method ages the miso paste in large wooden fermentation casks at the temperature of the environment. Traditional manufacturers use whole ingredients and natural sea salt and tend to allow their miso to age for at least six months. The commercial process of making miso paste accelerates temperature-controlled fermentation in plastic or stainless steel holding tanks.
Depending on how and where the miso paste is processed, there are different types of miso, with each type having its own aroma, flavor, and color. Some of the varieties of miso include: mugi miso (made from soybeans and barley), hatcho miso (made from soybeans and sea salt), genmai miso (from soybeans and brown rice), kome miso (made from soybeans and white rice), and natto miso (made from soybeans and ginger). The longer the soybeans are fermented, the darker (and stronger in flavor) the miso: Misos generally range in color (and pungency) from white to dark brown. White miso is the lightest in flavor, aged for one month. It is particularly well suited for soups, salad dressings, and sauces. Yellow miso is also light in flavor, but is saltier. Red miso is strong and salty and is generally used for stews, soups and braised foods. Dark brown miso is the most pungent.
Various types of miso paste are available in health-food stores and Asian markets.
Check the labeling on the miso containers both for a "sell-by" date and if this is a concern, to determine whether the miso has been pasteurized. [COLOR=Blue] This will let you know if it has been cooked
Store miso paste in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to a year.
Miso paste can be stirred into simmering water along with cubes of tofu, cabbage, and shiitake mushrooms, then cooked until the mushrooms are soft and the soup is flavorful. Sprinkle some chopped scallions over the soup when finished cooking. In addition to being used to make a soup stock, miso can also be a flavor enhancer for other soups and stews.
Miso can be mixed in combination with other ingredients to make salad dressings, sauces, dips, and marinades for meat, poultry, and fish.
Just remember, wherever you use miso, that it is very salty, and a little goes a long way.
Total fat (g) 1
Saturated fat (g) 0.1
Monounsaturated fat (g) 0.2
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0.6
Dietary fiber (g) 0.8
Protein (g) 4
Carbohydrate (g) 12
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 1238
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11-22-2004, 09:20 AM
Wow!! Thanks Sweetlips! :)
Okay, now the only thing left to ask is, of all the different varieties/names of miso, which ones are light and which are dark?
11-22-2004, 10:03 AM
I think this is what you are looking for:
The longer the soybeans are fermented, the darker (and stronger in flavor) the miso: Misos generally range in color (and pungency) from white to dark brown. White miso is the lightest in flavor, aged for one month. It is particularly well suited for soups, salad dressings, and sauces. Yellow miso is also light in flavor, but is saltier. Red miso is strong and salty and is generally used for stews, soups and braised foods. Dark brown miso is the most pungent.
I have had red and brown - the brown -1/2 tsp makes an 8 oz cup of soup very well and salty
11-22-2004, 10:06 AM
Thanks for the attempt Sweetlips, but what the problem is, in my store they list the miso NAMES on the packaging, but do not indicate if it's dark or white or light, etc. So, when a recipe calls for white miso or dark miso, I don't know which one to grab because the color isn't indicated on the packaging, only the name/type of miso. I need to know which type/name is light, which is dark, etc.
I just did some searching for more information and couldn't come up with anything. I guess the only thing left to do is to ask the store folks, who more than likely won't know either :rolleyes: I'll probably have to go to an Asian market and hopefully theirs will be labeled by color and not by type.
Thanks again for your assistance! :)
11-22-2004, 11:31 AM
Trying One more time:
Sweet miso is usually light in colour (white, yellow, or beige) and high in carbohydrates. It is marketed under names such as "Sweet White Miso." Because it is high in koji (cultured rice or barley) and relatively low in salt, sweet miso naturally ferments in just two to eight weeks, depending on the exact recipe and temperature used during the aging process. These misos developed and became popular around Kyoto and Japans southern regions.
Miso with a higher salt content, lower koji content, and proportionately more soybeans is darker in colour and saltier in taste than sweet miso. It must be fermented for a longer period of time, usually at least one summer, but as long as two to three years in extremely cold climates.
This type of miso is marketed under such names as "Brown Rice (Genmai) Miso" and "Barley (Mugi) Miso." Soybean misos such as "Hatcho" are also varieties of dark, long- aged miso, however, in this case the koji is made from soybeans rather than grains. Dark, long-aged misos are more popular in Japans central and northern regions.
11-22-2004, 04:28 PM
Thanks Sweetlips! I think that may help a little :D
11-22-2004, 04:31 PM
actually, from what i understand, not all miso is "living". you need to make sure that it says that it is "not pastuerized" on the label. my whole foods sells miso in tubs in the refrigerated section near the tofu, it is by "miso master" i believe. they carry tons of varieties: sweet white, mellow white, barley, chickpea, red, etc....red is my favorite and i would say that mellow white is better than sweet white.
but, as i mentioned, not all miso is living b/c some has been pasteurized, which kind of defeats the purpose, i know.
also, you can order miso master tofu online. let me find a link for you...hang, on....ok, here it is: http://www.great-eastern-sun.com/
and, it is actually pretty reasonable...and they have inexpensive seaweeds at that site as well.
11-22-2004, 04:38 PM
Thanks Kristi...I may have to order from them instead!
11-27-2004, 10:13 AM
See if health food store will order in "unpasturized" miso before contacting the company directly. You may save $ this way and not have to order tons either. A little miso goes a far way. Yikes, look at sodium content--super high, but this is really delish!
11-29-2004, 12:30 PM
I just looked at my miso--that i am glad you told me i can only keep for a year--and it is from amana and is organic shiro miso--shiro in japanese means white so perhaps that will help looking for the word shiro--i used it in the ceasar salad dressing.
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