Sit yourself in any Japanese restaurant and you will definitely find miso soup in the menu because miso is extremely versatile. It's flavor is so unique that we've even incorporated it into 3 our our paste. So, what actually is miso? And where did it come from? And what can you do with it?
Miso is made by mixing cooked soybeans (malt) with koji. (Koji is a starter culture usually made from either fermented rice, barley or soybean). The miso in our certified Organic Miso Ginger paste is made from Thai soybeans fermented with jasmine rice and sea salt. The umami flavor and taste of the miso develops during the fermentation and maturation process.
Miso also comes in various colors such as red miso (aka), yellow miso (shinsu) or white miso (shiro). The color of the miso is dependent on various conditions such as the type of raw material, the ratio of malt, and the manufacturing process. But in general, a miso that has been fermented longer would have a darker color due to the presence of melanoidin pigments.
This protein rich paste is rich in essential minerals such as vitamin B, E, K and folic acid. And because it is fermented, it also provides your gut with beneficial bacteria for good gut health. And great gut health, means great mental and physical health.
Today, miso is now so widely used not only in soup or broths, but also in marinades, mixed into potato mash, made into salad dressing (sesame-miso vinaigrette) and many more.
To get you started, here are some easy recipes using miso which you will love making at home!
Did you guess it? Go check them out!
And because we are big fans of history, here's a brief background on the evolution of miso in Japan for your enjoyment. ✌
During the Heian period when miso was first introduced, it was used as a salary to high level bureaucrats.
During the Kamakura period, a Zen sect monk temple used a stone mortar to grind the grains to make miso paste. The paste was later dissolved in water to make soup and that gave birth to miso soup. Miso soup then became the staple for the Kamakura Samurai's meal which usually consisted of a dish and a soup.
During the Sengoku period, fighters would carry miso in a bamboo skin, together with dried vegetables to be made into soup as sustenance during war.
During the Edo period, miso soon began to be sold in stores. Production of miso spread to other areas such as Sendai and Mikawa due to the increase in demand.
We would love to hear about your miso journey in the comments below. Or share with us the recipes you have made using miso. 😊
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