What Is Miso? Everything You Should Know

While exploring Japanese dishes, have you ever wondered what is miso? People enjoying Japanese food must be familiar with this term. In simple words, you can say, it is an important contributor to the unique tastes of Japanese cuisine. In my today’s post, I will discuss everything about what is miso paste in detail. Here, I will also tell you different types of miso and how to use it in your home cooking. Make sure you even check out the health benefits of miso. You can keep on reading further to know what is miso a bit more in detail.

What Is Miso?

Miso is a popular fermented soybean paste that is used as a seasoning. It is made from fermented soybeans, salt, koji, and barley or rice malt. This paste is from Japan and is now used throughout Asian cuisine. You can easily find miso in things like soups, salad dressing, pickles, and marinades. It is also used in soy sauce.

The texture of this paste is similar to peanut butter. However, depending upon the variety, this paste can be smooth or chunky. Miso is usually fermented anywhere from a few weeks to several years.

Keep on reading to know more about what is miso sauce.

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Miso Soup

Miso is available in two forms such as powder and block. So, what is miso soup? It is a soup made by using different ingredients such as tofu, seaweed, and garnish. However, block miso soup contains sizable tofu and other ingredients.

Different Types Of Miso

There are more than 1000 types of miso in different textures, flavors, and colors. Below, I have listed a few common types of miso found at grocery stores.

  • White Miso

 White miso is the lightest miso and it is also known as Shiro miso. Basically, it has the mildest flavor among all. White miso has a light color of yellow or brown. You can use white miso as a marinated sauce for fish, meat, and tofu.

  • Red Miso

Red miso has higher salt content than white miso. It also has a longer aging time and more strong taste. The protein content in red miso is the highest among all other kinds of miso. Some people call this type of miso aka miso.

  • Mixed Miso 

When white and red miso is mixed together, it is identified as mixed miso. It is also known as awasemiso. Mixed miso has slightly a bold flavor. Its flavor is somewhere in between white miso and red miso.

Miso: Other Factors To Consider

After understanding what is miso made of, there are a few factors you must know about miso.

  • Purchase

You can easily find miso paste in nearby grocery stores or supermarkets. However, you can find a wider selection at Asian specialty stores and online sites.

  • Storage

After purchasing miso from supermarkets, you need to store it properly to make it last longer. If you store miso in the refrigerator, it can last at least a year.

  • Status

Is Miso Vegetarian? Yes, miso is a vegan paste that is derived from fermented soybeans. It also includes barley, rye, rice, or other grains.

  • Cooking With Miso

This paste typically doesn’t need any further preparation. You can add this paste directly to anything from marinades to desserts. This fermented paste adds an umami saltiness. You can also eat miso cooked or raw.

You can keep on reading to know what does miso taste like.

  • Taste

Miso tends to have a salty, tangy, and savory taste. However, the flavor varies along with its type. For instance, lighter variants have more sweetness.

  • Uses

You can easily use miso in sauces, dressings, batters, and soups. It can also be added to long-cooked dishes at the end of cooking.

Is miso healthy? Let us check out the next section.

  • Benefits

Many health experts suggested eating three or more bowls of Japanese dishes every day. But what is miso soup good for? It is found that it can cut women’s risk of developing breast cancer. Miso soup can also lower blood pressure. In fact, miso has the effect of increasing good bacteria in the intestines. You can consume miso soup to prevent constipation.

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What Is Special About Miso?

Miso is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, as well as probiotics, known as the gut’s “good bacteria.” Research has found a number of potential health benefits to consuming miso: Healthier Digestive System. Miso soup is full of probiotics, which contribute to improved gut health. Miso soup contains the probiotic A.

What Is Miso Made Out Of?

fermented soybean paste

Miso is a fermented soybean paste from Japan used as a seasoning throughout Asian cuisine. Miso can be found in things like soups, salad dressings, pickles, and marinades. It’s even one of the crucial ingredients in soy sauce. The paste is made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Miso?

Miso helps the body maintain nutritional balance. It is loaded with other nutrients along with its beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Miso provides protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, linoleic acid, lecithin, and dietary fiber. It aids in digestion too.

Which Type Of Miso Is The Healthiest?

In general, the darker the color, the more intense the flavor. “The light ones like white and yellow misos may be better for dressings, glazes, and light sauces, while the darker misos are good for heartier dishes like stews and heavier soups,” Ingraham says. Not sure how to cook with miso at home?

Does Miso Have MSG?

Miso paste is a fermented paste made by aging soy beans with salt, koji and other ingredients until they have a very concentrated flavor. It contains high amounts of glutamic acid and salt, but not MSG extract.

What Does Miso Taste Like?

Salty, earthy, and, yes, funky, miso has the sort of deeply layered flavor that can only be the result of nature and time. It’s the key to umami-rich broth without the meat, to creamy salad dressing with the optimal balance of salt, and to glaze that leaves fish crispy and caramelized .

Is Miso Good Or Bad For You?

Rich in nutrients: Miso contains many healthy vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, manganese, zinc, protein and calcium. Many of these nutrients support essential structures like the bones and nervous system. Improves digestion: Because miso is high in probiotics, it helps the body maintain healthy bacteria levels.


By reading my above post, you’ve learned what is a miso. Miso is a fermented soybean paste that is made from fermented soybeans. While cooking with miso, make sure you don’t boil dishes like miso soup too much. This can kill the active bacteria in the miso. Miso has a deep savory flavor with a toasty, salty-sweet richness. However, this umami flavor forms the base in lots of Japanese dishes. The best miso substitute you can use in dishes is soy sauce. It has the same salty and savory flavor just like miso. You are now ready to cook any Japanese dish by understanding what is miso.


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Is miso actually healthy