A soothing bowl of miso soup can be a welcome comfort when temperatures start to drop. Miso is packed with nutrients and has over 1000 years of history.
What is Miso?
What is miso exactly? Miso is fermented soybean paste. Its basic ingredients include soybeans, the fungus Koji, salt and grains (typically barley or rice). There are more than 1,000 miso producers in Japan. Each region produces a different type of miso.
Making miso is also easy. Many people can make their own miso. Each miso maker will have their own preferences and methods, so the color, flavor, aroma, and smell of miso may vary greatly. Miso is salty and umami-rich. However, there are lighter miso varieties that can be sweet. The stronger and more bolder the miso flavor, generally speaking.
Miso’s origins aren’t clear, as is the case with many foods that have existed for over a century. A method of food preservation through fermentation called hishio may have been the predecessor to miso. This method originated in China and was brought to Japan more than 1300 years ago. Another theory suggests that miso was invented in Japan by Buddhist monks around the 7th Century.
Miso has been a Japanese food item since its inception. It is still very popular today, regardless of where or when it was invented. Although soybean pastes are also available in other cultures such as the Korean doenjang or Chinese soybean Jiang, they differ from miso in terms of their composition, preparation, and flavor.
Miso: How to enjoy it!
Miso soup is the most popular way to enjoy it. The umami rich, yet subtle taste of miso soup pairs well with many Japanese dishes, including sushi. It’s also a popular breakfast in Japan.
Also, miso is a popular base to make ramen broth. Because of its unique salty, umami flavor, miso makes a great marinade or glaze for meats and fish. Miso can also be added to tangy salad dressings. Miso butter can be used to make delicious sweets and desserts such as miso butter, sweet miso butterscotch and miso pound cake.
Miso is delicious and can be used in many different dishes. It is also a great source of nutrients and minerals, as well as probiotics. However, it is high in sodium so make sure you eat it in moderation. Miso is a Japanese staple and you will be tempted to make more.
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