We love Miso.
We drink it in the soup, we use it as a tasty cream with cucumber in summer, or we mix it with ground sesame and spices as a sauce to eat with cabbage.
Made from fermented soybeans mashed into a thick paste, Miso sees its origin in China and found his way into Japan in the 7th century, where it was gradually transformed in a popular Japanese Seasoning.
Over the following centuries, the methods for making it were refined and enhanced, creating a broad spectrum of style and tastes, in a process that still continues today.
It’s fermentation and aging process involve a multitude of factors, the slightest variation of which can result in vastly different tastes, colors, and texture.
Did you know that all around Japan, there are around 1300 types of miso, each with its own distinct flavour?
How to Make MisoSoup
Nowdays, the process to make miso can be automated or artisanal, but basically this two way does not different from each others.
- Soak overnight the soy beans, drain, boil for 3 to 4 hours and let them cool to body temperature;
- Mash the soy beans and add the Koji (Aspergillus oryzae) + salt (I Fermentation)
- Seal the miso in a jar and leave it at room temperature away from light sources, for at least 6 months (II Fermentation)
Base on the ingredients used, Miso can be divided in two big categories:
Mugi – Made from soybeans, malted barley, and salt
Kome – made from soybeans, malted rice, and salt
Mame – Made from soybeans malted soybeans and salt
From this three categories, depending on aging, ingredients use and quantity, we can find in Japan a huge biodiversity of taste and colours.
Why We should Add Miso in Our Diet
Recent researches have found that the benefit of miso comes not only from the nutrients in the soybeans. Also other ingredients that arise from the actions of aspergillus (Koji) and other molds used in the fermentation and aging process provide many benefit for our body.
It is said that Miso can provides protective action for the stomach lining. For this reason, people who regularly have miso soup are less susceptible to gastric problems and stomach disorders such as ulcers. Also, miso is rich in magnesium and potassium, which can serve as excessive sodium intake.
The Perfect Japanese Breakfast
For centuries, the typical breakfast for Japanese people was rice and miso soup. Waking up the aroma of miso soup was a quintessential part of Japanese family life.
Even today, for many Japanese, the word miso bring back memories of good and old fashioned home cooking. Although in recent years it has become less common to see it on the breakfast table, miso soup still remains an integral part of the Japanese diet.
Make it at home, is surprisingly easy!
All you need is miso, dashi (soup stock), and a few ingredients of your choice, from wakame to seasonal vegetables,
seafood, or meat. The best part is the versatility that sets it apart.
Recipe (For two serving)
- Add 2 cups of water to a pot and bring to boil.
- Add the dashi stock (you can use the already made Dashi Packets).
(or, if you have Dashi made from starch, bring to boil two cups of it)
- If you decided to use hard ingredients such as vegetables or meat, this is the moment to add them into your soup. Bring the water (or Dashi) to boil and let them cook.
- Where the ingredients are ready, bring to a low simmer and add the miso. Put it in a strainer and dipping it into the stock while stirring, so that it dissolves easily.
- If you decided to use also or just cubes of Tofu and wakame, this is the moment do add them. It is better to add them after the Miso, in this way you will not rick to break the cube.
Quantity of Miso you should use? Start from one huge spoon and taste. Keep adding until you reach the desired flavor.
- Serve in a small bowl and enjoy with a steamed cup of rice!