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miso'easy

According to a world-famous writer & journalist it takes 10,000 hours to completely master a skill.

Our miso master, Yoshihiro would disagree. He & his family have been making miso in the Nagano Valley, Japan, for 85 years [or 744,600 hours] & they are still getting better.

We developed our miso‘easy together. Which is to say we watched & took notes.

We have put some of our favourite miso recipes at the bottom of this page. If you’d like to see more click here!

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the umami boost you need anytime of the day is a cup of miso soup away

 

When the world raves about the health benefits of the Japanese diet, it stops and stares a little bit longer at miso. With so few ingredients, it delivers so much complexity and depth. Its intense umami flavour & protein-loaded nutrition make it a magical and staple condiment Japanese food cannot do without. You can have miso soup for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — it’s that versatile, light, and comfort-inducing.

 

what is miso?

 

Miso is fermented soybeans. It is composed of soybeans, salt, barley or rice, and koji. Koji [Aspergillus oryzae] is a mould often called [lovingly] the ‘national fungus’ of Japan. It is a key flavour profile in the Japanese culinary tradition, found in a range of traditional foods from soy sauce to sake. Koji ferments beans into miso, producing a vast range of aromas from fresh and fruity to earthy and intense.

Miso goes back millennia in Japanese history. It was a daily meal for Samurai warriors, used to pay wages of high-level bureaucrats, and was sometimes offered as a gift. It was a prized commodity ordinary people couldn’t afford. In 701, Emperor Mommu established a bureau to regulate miso production, trade, and taxation. The birth of the miso soup shaped Japan’s fundamental eating tradition Ichiju-sansai: one soup, three sides.

Miso has become a revered Japanese food across the world due to its low-calorie, high-nutrition status. When you want an umami-rich broth without the meat, a marinade that adds layers of flavour, or a singularly single seasoning, you can’t find anything better than miso. You will find miso soup served as a side or main dish in almost all Japanese restaurants.

 

What are the different types of miso soup?

 

The length of fermentation time and the proportions of soybeans, grains, and koji produce different types of miso with varying flavours, ranging from sweet and mild to salty and rich.

 

white miso [shiro]

 

White miso has a proportionally high amount of rice to soybeans and a short fermentation time. It is fermented for no longer than two months and is sweet to mildly salty.

 

yellow miso [shinsu]

 

Yellow miso is typically fermented with soybeans and barley, sometimes using a small percentage of rice. It is fermented for slightly longer than white miso and can be yellow to light brown in colour. It has a mild, earthy flavour.

 

red miso [akamiso]

 

Also called dark miso, it is reddish to dark brown in colour. It contains a higher proportion of soybeans and is fermented for up to three years, giving its saltier, earthier, and deeper flavour.

 

How do you prepare miso soup?

 

Just add a tablespoon of miso paste to warm water, and it is a delicious soup — we promise! You can also add it to soup stock like dashi for even more intense savoury flavour. There are many exciting ingredients to add if you want a heartier miso soup. However, no matter what you do, avoid boiling miso! Miso is best added to warm water and not boiling water. It is usually stirred in at the final stage of cooking, either over a gentle simmer or with the heat turned off.
To avoid a lumpy soup, add the miso to a little bit of water or broth first. Whisk it to fully combine and add the slurry back into the broth or water.

 

What should you serve with miso soup?

 

Rehydrate some dried wakame or another dried seaweed to drop into the soup for a lightening quick flavour and nutrient-boost. Turn the basic miso soup into a main with some diced silken tofu, steamed gyoza, and crystal noodles. Garnish it with green onion or steamed bok choy. A bowl of miso soup is eaten after a sushi meal to settle the stomach.