【ICHIBA JUNCTION】 What’s Miso? vol.1

Miso paste is traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and koji malt.

Infinite varieties of miso with the local colour is made the way of working of a microbe playing its part which is important during the fermentation aging by climate, different storehouse, and being involved complicatedly the conditions such as ingredients and environment, the quality of the water.

The miso which is made in all over Japan all over the country so that it is said, "there is not the area without a brewery of the miso."  Review about miso over again.


■ Types of Miso Paste

‐ Rice Miso

The miso fermented in conformity to a soybean, and malted rice mature. It is occupied 80% produced in Japan. Because it is made in a wide area from the north to the south, there are various kinds in a colour, taste.


‐ Bean Miso

Bean miso is a kind of miso which soybean and salt are main ingredients. It takes a unique method that is added malt and roasted barley, rye or so on to a miso ball (made steamed soybean into a ball shape). The aging takes approximately three years. It is a characteristic that it is used mainly in the Tokai, Nakagyo district, and there are heavy taste and some bitterness.

▲Miso Balls

* The bean miso is a model of "dark red miso", but is often called as compounded rice miso and seasoning with bean miso now.


‐ Barley Miso

Miso made with barley malt in substitution for rice. It is called another name "country miso". Having a sweet smell peculiar to wheat, it features silky sweetness.


‐ Combined Miso

It is mixed two or three kinds of miso and enjoyed the change of taste and the flavour. It seemed to begin with kaiseki cuisine. It is used compounding properly by a season and ingredient materials.


‐ Blended Miso

The blened miso is combined a sweetener, seasoning and rice miso based on bean miso. It is famous for dark red miso.


Ingredient Taste and Colour Ichiba Junction Items
Rice Miso


(low salt)

Mild light  
Salty light
Barley Miso Mild    
Bean Miso      
Combined Miso    
Blended Miso    


Difference between Red miso and White miso

Colour difference is caused and affected of “Maillard Reaction*” which occurs during fermentation and aging process.

*Maillard Reaction
A chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugar. This reaction increases its frequency in high temperature.


White miso

short immersion and soy beans are simmered without steaming to take away water soluble component like sugar and this removal restrains millard reaction.

Red miso

Long immersion and soy beans are long-steamed in high temperature which causes protein heat denaturation of an enzyme.



■ Nourishment and Health Benefit

Soybean itself which is the main ingredient of miso, and including protein, lipid sugar, vitamins, and minerals are nutritious. Those ingredients of soybean become easy to digest and absorb by fermenting and the nutritive value improves more, too.

 Protein  Cholesterol Decline, Elasticity Maintenance of Blood Vessel
 Vitamin B12  Hematopoietic Action, Prevention of Brain-fag
 Vitamin E  Prevention of aging
 Enzyme  Digestion Promotion
 Isoflavone  Oxidization Prevention, Getting rid of Stiff Shoulder
 Colin  Prevention of Aging, Prevention of Fatty Liver
 Lecithin  Cholesterol decline, Prevention of Dementia


Anticancer action of the miso

It is said that “fatty acid ethyl” made by fermentation has a control action against the cause of cancer. The research showed that the stomach cancer death rate lowers as a person with much number of times to drink miso soup and it is checked that a cancer incidence decreases by the rat animal experiment.


A doctor is not necessary with one cup of miso soup a day!  Let’s cook with miso!


Next time, introducing store method and cooking tips of miso.




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