By: Tova Ng

Miso is a Japanese seasoning paste made from fermented grain and soybeans. Tova Ng introduces the three most common types of miso and explains the different flavors and uses of each.

Find more Co+op Kitchen videos featuring information and easy recipes for making delicious meals at home, as well as handy hints from chefs and food enthusiasts who love sharing their passion for great food.

Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Tova Ng from Fresh Off the Truck mobile catering. Today I'm going to tell you about miso and how it is used.

Miso is a Japanese seasoned soybean paste. You've probably heard of it in miso soup. And it's basically made by fermenting soybeans with salt and a Japanese fungus called koji.

Miso ranges in color from light to dark, and the darker the color, the stronger the flavor.

Miso is full of vitamins, minerals, and protein. And has what the Japanese call umami, or a pleasant, savory taste, making it a great substitute for salt or soy sauce in many dishes.

Miso can be used to add depth of flavor to everything from sauces and dressings to marinades for meat, chicken and fish. You can even use it to flavor mashed potatoes.

Three common types of miso

You'll probably find your miso in the refrigerator section. And there's usually one to three types.

White miso (shiromiso)

White miso, or shiromiso, is actually not white but a light yellow, oatmeal color. It has a sweeter, milder, and less salty flavor than other misos, making it great for lighter soups, sauces, dressings, and fish.

Red miso (akamiso)

Akamiso, or red miso, has a bold, rich, and more salty flavor that white miso. The deep flavor of red miso can overpower mild dishes, so it should be used in small quantities and is a good choice to flavor glazes, hearty soups and meats.

Light and dark miso mix (awasemiso)

Awasemiso is a blend of the light and dark miso, and a lot of chefs like to mix this one themselves. You can mix your own, too.

Using and storing miso

When using miso, moderation is key. Follow the recipe if using miso for the first time, and err on the side of using less when in doubt. You can always add a little more, but it's hard to fix a dish that has become overly salty.

You should also remember that miso shouldn't be boiled or overcooked, because that destroys beneficial enzymes and can make your dish bitter. Add miso to the end of any dish that needs to boil or simmer.

Storing miso is easy. You can keep your miso opened in your refrigerator for up to about a year, since it's been fermented and preserved well. If you haven't opened your miso yet, then you can keep it indefinitely on your shelf.

In another episode, I'll show you how to make a delicious miso-glazed salmon. It's a dish that's sure to impress your family and friends, so check it out.

I'm Tova for Co+op, stronger together.