Miso Soup

Timeline:

8th to 12th century:

It was considered to be a luxury food in Japan, and it was only for the noble families or monks.

12th to 16th century:

IT was part of the Samurai’s food source, and was made into the soup base for the first time. Simultaneously, it was available to the general public.

17th to Current:

It has become a well-known food to the Japanese society, and the demand had increased greatly.

Ingredients & Development

What is miso made out of? It is composed of fermented soybean, salt, and Koji. Koji is one of yeast that is similar concept as the yeast for the bread. Additionally, miso can be made from not only soybeans, but also could be made from Rice and Barley as well. For the further information please watch the video from the reference page from our website.

Differences

Miso comes in a variety of forms from white miso, red miso, black miso, and many others. The color of miso is depending on the fermentation time, and the longer the fermentation process, the darker the it will look. Among those different types of miso, white and red miso are the most common used in the Japanese society. White miso is used mostly in the Kansai area, and white miso has shorter fermentation time of 3 months. Conversely, red miso has a longer fermentation time of 3-6 months or longer, and it is mostly used in Kanto area. There is also another common kind of miso, which is called “Awase”, meaning that is a mixture of white & red miso together.

Forms

Through the perfection of miso soup, Japanese manufacturing companies has made it more convenient and easier to the society to enjoy the miso soup. There are two common types: 1) miso paste, 2) instant miso soup.

  1. Miso paste: it normally comes in a paste form, which can be good for soup base, marinating sauce for fish or meat, salad dressing, and dipping sauce. For the miso paste itself, it never goes to spoil, instead the it will keep fermenting.
  2. Instant miso: it has all the ingredients in the package itself such as tofu, seaweed and other garnish. Powder instant miso soup is what you would see at the supermarket the most, but here is another kind called “Freeze Dried miso soup”. This type of miso has more garnish and better taste compared to the powder ones. However the cost is relatively higher, unless you are in Japan, or you will not see these kinds in your local supermarkets.