Miso. The name does strike a chord, doesn’t it? We might have all heard this name on TV or in restaurants. But have you ever wondered what miso is all about, and how is it even used in the kitchen? Let’s find out!
Miso is basically a Japanese ingredient. It is a paste made from fermented soya beans. It has a delicious umami flavor, which is characterisitic of meats and broths.
Extremely tangy, salty and with a subtle hint of soya, this reddish-brown paste is really strong in flavor. It is not a condiment that can be eaten straight out of the bottle. It needs to be diluted. Here comes in the delicious miso soup. The miso soup is a mix of dashi, the famous Japanese fish broth, and softened miso paste. Vegetables, meat and other things can be added to the soup to make it suit your palate. Miso also adds a unique burst of flavor to salad dressings, sauces and marinades.
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Which miso would you like? White, yellow or red?
Though the most common type of miso is the miso made with fermented soya beans, miso now comes in many varieties. It is now made using barley, rice or many other grains. Different types of miso suit different types of dishes. The colour of the miso determines how strong it is in flavor. For instance, a white or yellow miso will be less strong in flavor than the red miso. So pick your variety according to your taste. Miso is traditionally gluten free, but nowadays due to the introduction of new varieties, one cannot be sure if they all are gluten-free. So its better to check them before buying.
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Miso is a fermented condiment, so it is rich in probiotics i.e. good bacteria and enzymes. It is great for digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. It is also a rich source of vitamin K, protein and zinc. Miso also has smaller amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B. It is also pretty high on salt, so it should be had in control. Since it is made from protein, it is also rich in amino acids.
This healthy and delicious condiment deserves a place on your shelf!