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This tasty traditional paste has been used in oriental dishes for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. It’s a unique and dynamically flavoured salty foodstuff: perfect for seasoning a wide variety of dishes. And if you like your salt, or soy, miso paste is a must-have alternative option for your kitchen. In recent decades the love of miso paste and soup has spread across the UK, Europe and far beyond. A lot of this passion has become concentrated in our warehouse, where we have many types of natural and organic miso paste!
What is it exactly?
This essential oriental seasoning is typically made by fermenting cooked soybeans, barley or rice grain, water and salt. And our natural and organic miso pastes are not unlike a fine cheese or wine; needing a good 6 months, or even a year, of patient thumb and finger-twiddling before they’re ready to be lapped up.
It’s also delicious and highly nutritious. Miso paste is packed with fibre, healthy protein, vitamin K, vitamin B12 and various minerals. For this reason it has long been prized as naturally health promoting and a good digestive aid.
Choosing your type of miso paste
As you can see, we have a wealth of delicious miso paste products from the very best brands in the UK and Europe. But if you’re unsure where to start, firstly: they’re all beautiful. And secondly, here’s our quick-reference guide to each variety:
- In general, miso paste continues to turn a darker brownish-red as it ferments, meaning the light stuff is lightly flavoured and the deep-coloured miso is stronger.
- White miso tends to be rich in rice, giving it a delicate and quite sweet flavour. Its gentleness tends to be invaluable for making marinades, sauces and seasonings for root vegetables and fish, as well as for making traditional oriental soups and standalone dressings. So perhaps give these a try first, but then feel free to play around and see where you think it works best!
- Barley miso is of course packed with barley. This gives it a full and hearty flavour: ideal for soup or marinating vegetables.
- Hatcho miso is produced by master miso craftmen who have been plying their trade for over five centuries. According to our expert suppliers, they use huge ‘seasoned cedarwood kegs’ to age and mature the miso for up to 3 years! As a result, hatcho miso is very dark and very rich; a unique taste to enliven any type of cooking. Its age and nutritional density has also earned it renown as the most nourishing miso paste of all.
- Miso relish is waiting to be sprinkled on all of your favourite foods. It works well on salads, fish, root veg, you name it.
- Miso soup paste is fairly self explanatory. Bolster your big evening soup servings, or for a quick snack just pour some into a cup (perhaps adding peas, nuts, turmeric or any of your favourite superfoods)
- Genmai miso provides a lovely mix of richness and sweetness ready for any recipe you desire. This flavour is thanks to the brown rice with which it’s blended.
- Miso bouillon is a vibrant alternative both to standard bouillon and traditional miso paste. And it makes a cracking hot drink too.
How to use miso paste
The BBC Food website has a good list of recipes and recommendations for getting the most out of miso paste. It should give you a great idea for how widely it can be applied, across both Chinese and Japanese cooking, as well as in other more avant-garde cuisine.
Our top recipe picks
To talk particulars, these very modern takes on classic dishes also caught our eye:
Spinach with Walnuts And Miso (Horenso No Kurumi-Ae)
A beautiful miso paste recipe to make your mouth water and live long in the memory.
Maple Roasted Carrot in Tahini Sace
This is such a colourful and healthy dish, packed with dynamic ingredients and really inventive flavour combos. Although miso is one of many important elements, it’s simply too good to ignore!
Chocoate Yuzu Miso
A super cool dessert, boasting classic chocolatiness with a savoury miso twist!
Two Tasty Miso Recipes by Nigel Slater
This pair of heart-warming miso-based recipes (one meaty, one veggie) are bound to go down a treat with friends and family. They’re relatively easy to make too.
Our top tips
As well as the various uses for miso paste shown above, let us share with you a few of our most novel and interesting tips and cooking ideas
- Make mash with it! Blend miso paste into mash and you get… extra-addictive, full-flavoured mash potato. Use a mix of other veg like carrot and swede too, and you’re onto an even bigger winner!
- Wherever there is stock, there could be miso. So use these delicious natural and organic products if you’re looking to revitalise your cooking.
- If in doubt, start with the above recipes. You’ll find lots of traditional and creative takes on the use of miso paste there.
- Experiment! You never know what delights you might find.
Send us your recipes!
Got a world-beating miso paste recipe to declare? Please do! It’s always great to share recipes with others, so spread the word by tagging us or posting to us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.