Japan Australia Pages

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Japanese Miso Paste

Miso paste is a traditional Japanese food made by fermenting soybeans with a mould called koji and sea salt. The most common types of miso are red, white, barley and soybean. Miso was introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks in the 7th century, and has several well-known health benefits.

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 has many health benefits and a lot of these can be contributed to the koji mould. It is a probiotic, which is good for digestive relief and contains many B vitamins, including B12.

How Can I Use Miso Paste? 


• Add a teaspoon of miso paste to hot water for a nutritious alternative to tea or coffee
• Apply a thin scraping of miso under tahini on some wholemeal toast for a healthy breakfast or snack
• Miso Soup (see recipe below)

Basic Miso Soup Recipe

Serves 6

Prep & Cooking: 15 mins

Ingredients 
• 4 cups (1 litre) dashi stock
• 20g dried seaweed
• 150g silken tofu, cut into 2cm cubes
• ¼ cup (75g) red miso paste
• 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Method 
1. Place dashi in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Reduce heat to low and add seaweed.
3. Cook for a minute then add tofu and cook until heated through
4. Place miso in a bowl.
5. Add a little dashi, stirring until miso dissolves.
6. Add miso to the saucepan and stir to combine.
7. Bring back to the simmer.
8. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle over green onions.

Note: Other great ingredients to add to miso soup include shitake mushrooms, carrots, daikon and udon noodles.

Miso Soup

18 comments:

  1. Miso paste is extremely easy to incorporate into the menu with all types of dishes that you can add it. ;)

    And I love miso soup! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lina, It is a great ingredient to have in your kitchen and very useful. Miso soup is the best and a real comfort food for me :)

      John

      Delete
  2. The article is well written. I also loves miso and often eat miso soup even in the summer. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cocomino for the positive feedback :) I can and do eat miso soup all year round as well.

      John

      Delete
  3. I've become so fond of miso (and soy sauce) that I miss it dreadfully when return to South Africa for a holiday. Soy sauce is well known down south, but not miso. :( How about Australia - it's easy to find it in shops?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rurousha, Soy sauce is everywhere in Australia and is pretty much a staple in every kitchen. Miso is not as common but still can be found in regular supermarkets. Best to shop at Asian supermarkets as they have a bigger range and better prices.

      John

      Delete
  4. A little known use for miso paste for Aussies in Japan and have run out of Vegemite ... spread it very lightly over your toast AND you will find that .... it tastes exactly the same!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rohan, Love the tip LOL! I'll have to try that the next time I run out of that Aussie Gold Vegemite. I do like Miso on toast with a touch of tahini :)

      John

      Delete
  5. nice share :)
    visit me http://erick-10.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. +1 on what Lina said.

    Can make some great marinades with miso. I improvised one last week by mixing sesame oil, miso paste, soy sauce, and a bit of red wine and spreading over chicken. Turned out pretty well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Blue Shoe, I love the sound of miso as a marinade. I will give your recipe a try :)

      John

      Delete
  7. Carrots?!? I have made miso soup so many times with pumpkin that I finally suggested to my husband carrots would be a good alternative. His response: "No one eats carrots in miso soup. That is just weird." But now I have you as evidence. I will try it someday and surprise him :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks StarBrooke, The great thing about Miso soup is that just about everything goes. Root vegetables are usually the best, we add carrots all the time and it is a good alternative. You have me as proof now so definitely give it a try :)

      John

      Delete
  8. Thanks for the recipe. Miso paste goes well with many things. I think good dashi soup stock might be more difficult to make at times. For good dashi, try boiling a good amount of dried bonito flakes(katsuobushi) in water, and placing a piece of edible kelp(kombu) in the pot for 10 minutes or longer.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks TC, Dashi stock always taste great when you make it yourself, but in a rush the instant packet stuff will also suffice. Thanks for the cool dashi recipe.

    John

    ReplyDelete
  10. im coming back from japan do you know if Im allowed to bring in miso paste into Australia?
    Im so scared they take it away as i get to sydney. it happened before witn my japanese mayo .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anon, I haven'y had any trouble in the past. Just ensure that it is all sealed up correctly and you can explain what it is and what it contains.

      Delete

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