Red miso is a mixture of white rice, barley or soybeans fermented for one to three years. It contains the highest levels of protein. White or yellow miso contains a higher percentage of rice koji and less soybeans, is sweeter than red miso and contains a higher percentage of carbohydrates and a lower percentage of protein. It is only fermented for a few weeks and has a shorter shelf life than other varieties, usually up to two months refrigerated. Soybean miso is a reddish-brown, chunky miso, made only from soybeans with a fermentation period of at least a year. Miso is regularly used by vegetarians, but some varieties of miso are blended with dashi (bonito) stock, so check the label if you are vegetarian.
What are the health benefits of miso?
Miso is rich in micronutrients such as tryptophan, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin B12, and Zinc. Miso is also a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also packed with protein and is a nutrient-rich salt substitute. Japanese research has also found miso to be a good source of antioxidants. Most Japanese will consume miso as either a soup (miso soup) or as a sauce accompaniment to dishes.
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