What to look for in Miso paste?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kuan, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    So I've tried a lot of Miso soup paste and I don't like any. Frankly I haven't researched any of this (you guys are my research source) because every time I buy a package I assume it's good. I'd appreciate any advice I can get.
     
  2. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    What didn't you like about it? Miso is koji-fied something. White is more rice. Yellow is more soy. Red is soy + barley or something else. I took a miso class where we used black bean, peanut, etc. You can get really unique flavors from the process. A couple local places here sell the inoculated spores (on rice) and you can make your own miso easily. Or you can go through the whole incubator process.

    Red should be easy to find, it will have more funk and a longer fermentation time than white miso. Maybe that's what you're looking for?
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Mine is a red miso. Feels too salty and just doesn't have flavor. It tastes like soy sauce to me with a touch of Miso flavor.
     
  4. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Some of them are pasteurized which kills complexity of flavor. It'd be dead like cheese in America.
     
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  5. rick alan

    rick alan

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    OK then, so non-pasteurized mizo will have a low shelf-life, and ideally the idea is to make your own?
     
  6. Iceman

    Iceman

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    Why do you need any super-long shelf life? The stuff I buy and use comes in small packages. I use what I buy and that's it.
     
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  7. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I guess my point about pasteurization is that it is largely not needed for a ferment, which you want to be alive for flavor. Fermentation itself is a type of preservation technique already.

    1) It's salty, that inhibits growth of other microbes
    2) I keep it in the fridge, that inhibits growth
    3) The koji, aspergillus oryzae, population has already broke down protein and sugars so nothing else bad could really grow in meaningful numbers

    It would keep in the fridge about a year and I definitely use it all by then. Pasteurization is when you go big box and have shelf stable stuff. I find most miso in the refrigerated section of asian markets, rarely in the aisles.
     
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  8. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Finding miso you like can take some experimenting. As has been pointed out there are different kinds. I have found if it tastes good by itself, that's a good start but some kombu? or vegetables or other seasoning additions really help. Of course that also depends on what the end use will be but I never use it plain.