Have you ever wondered what to do with that leftover miso paste in the back of the fridge? Well now we’ve got you covered with some helpful info and tasty recipes to kick-start your kitchen adventures using this versatile ingredient.
What is miso?
Miso paste is a versatile Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans and salt. Some versions of miso also include grains like rice or barley, seaweed, or a special type of mold known as Koji.
Is it healthy?
Miso paste is a great source of proteins and nutrients. As a fermented food, it’s also full of beneficial bacteria which contributes to good gut health. It can also help boost your immune system and help your body to fight off infection. What a superfood!
How to use miso paste?
Apart from well-known dishes such as Miso Soup, this delicious ingredient is used in sauces like Goma Dare (sesame sauce for Shabu Shabu hotpot) through deliciously savoury-sweet desserts and treats. Miso paste can also be used to make tangy salad dressings and savoury marinades.
We’ve got a delicious range of them below just begging to take a turn around your kitchen.
Now there’s no need to let that humble pack of miso wallow in the back of your fridge til you discover it months down the track. Whip up a few of these recipes and you’ll be wondering how it disappeared so quickly!
The Three Main Types of Miso Paste
Here’s a quick overview of the three main types of miso paste available so you’ll know what each type brings to the table.
White Miso (Shiro Miso)
Made from fermented soybeans and rice, the name white miso is actually a bit of a trick, as you’re more likely to find this variety in a pale yellow colour (not to be confused with yellow miso below, which is actually brown in colour.
White miso is also known as ‘sweet’ or ‘mellow’ miso, as it has the mildest flavour of the three. It is also lower in salt than the darker varieties because it’s fermented for a shorter amount of time.
White miso is the most versatile of the three types so it’s a great all-rounder to keep in the fridge for many of the recipes below.
Shiro miso is the best choice for:
- Condiments (such as mayonnaise)
- Salad Dressings
- Light Sauces
Yellow Miso (Shinshu Miso)
Fermented with barley and sometimes a small amount of rice, remember that yellow miso is actually a light brown colour.
It has a stronger, earthier flavour than white miso and just a hint of sweetness in comparison.
Shinshu miso is the best choice for:
Red Miso (Aka Miso)
Red miso has the strongest flavour of the three main varieties of miso paste because it’s made with a higher percentage of soybeans and has been fermented for a longer time.
It’s the saltiest and most pungent of the three as well, adding some serious umami flavour to your dishes. Note that the term red miso covers all of the darker shades including dark red and dark brown.
Aka miso is the best choice for:
- Heavier Soups
- Heartier Marinades
Tips for choosing which miso paste to use
- The colour of any miso paste can give you a good idea of how it will taste. Paler in colour = lighter in flavour. Darker colour = stronger and more intense umami flavour.
- If you’re looking for a versatile miso to use in a broad range of dishes opting for yellow or white miso should do the trick. If you’ve only got red miso on hand you can still use it, but play it cool and only add a touch at a time til you’re happy with the flavour. After all, you can always add more in but you can’t take it out!
Where to buy and how to store miso paste
Thankfully a huge variety of miso pastes are now available across the globe. You’ll find a range of types and brands on the shelves in Asian grocery stores and occasionally the Asian section at well-stocked local supermarkets. You can also head to Amazon to buy miso paste online.
If you have any dietary issues, feel free to check the ingredients list when you buy and try to avoid brands with additives such as MSG. It’s also possible to buy organic miso paste.
How long does miso paste last?
Once opened, miso paste should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Lighter varieties will last around nine months while darker varieties will keep for up to a year.
Now that you’re an expert on this amazing ingredient here are a few recipes we think you should try. Personally we can’t wait to try a miso infused dessert – so if that’s where you want to start there’ll be zero judgement from us. Enjoy!
12 Incredibly Healthy Recipes Using Miso Paste… Including Dessert!
Stir Fries / Noodles
Sauces & Glazes
Marinades & Fillings
Desserts & Treats
These recipes are sure to help you find new and exciting ways to use up your container of miso paste. All you need to do now is decide: Which recipe will you try first?
And if you’ve already tried one or more of these tasty dishes, let us know how it turned out in the comments!