A: Miso is a paste, based on Japanese traditions dated back to 1,500s. Miso is produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and a culture called ‘koji’ (KOH-gee). The koji culture is made with grains, typically rice. Some are made with barley or soybeans. Miso paste is considered both a flavoring ‘boost’ and an ingredient base.
A: The best way to store miso, considered a living food, is to keep it in the refrigerator. If you would like to store it in a freezer, the temperature must stay higher than 25F or -5C. The miso will not freeze and the aroma and flavor will not go away, if it is only stored in the freezer for a few months.
A: The darkening color of miso is caused by the ‘maillard reaction,’ which occurs when amino acids from soybeans chemically react with sugar and turn brown. Darkening of the color occurs rapidly especially in a warm environment. It does not pose any food safety threat.
A: Miso is a “preservative food,” that can be kept for a long period of time due to its salt content. If kept in your refrigerator, miso itself does not go bad. In terms of the quality of the taste, miso should remain relatively consistent for up to one year.
A: Relax. Miso is so easy. You can use water, chicken, beef, seafood or vegan broth as your base liquid for Miso Soup. To make a traditional dashi, which has special seasoning, it’s still super easy. Just click here for recipe. Dashi can be made easily by using “dashi packets” or “granule dashi” that are sold in stores carrying Asian foods.
A: We offer two different varieties of instant miso soup. One has miso and ingredients in separate packets, and the other has miso and ingredients together in a packet. You can pour the contents of the packets into a cup, no matter which variety you’ve purchased. All you have to do is to add hot water, and it is done. Miso may stay on the bottom, so be sure to stir well. Some of our products may come with other ingredients such as dried leeks in separate packet. Please add them into a cup to enjoy, if you like. You might also choose to add chopped scallions for extra flavor.
A: The average salt content of miso is about 10% of its total volume. One bowl of miso soup has 1.3~1.6g of salt.
A: Here is an answer from Consumer Reports News: “Miso, the main ingredient in that cloudy broth you may have had in Japanese restaurants, is relatively high in sodium, with about 630 milligrams per tablespoon. So if you are prone to high blood pressure, you might want to use the ingredient in moderation. But miso has a number of benefits that can make it part of a healthy diet, even if you are watching your blood pressure.”
A: From Consumer Reports News: “For one, miso, which is made from fermented soybeans plus salt and possibly rice or other grains, adds not only a salty flavor but a rich, savory, almost meaty taste that the Japanese call umami. That taste is common in full-fat dairy products, cooked meats, mushrooms, salmon, and other foods. So using miso can let you cut back on the salt and fat you add to your cooking while enhancing flavor.
Miso has other proven or possible health benefits, too. For one, the fermentation process not only adds flavor but also turns the ingredient into a probiotic, meaning that it’s full of potentially good bacteria. Growing research shows that probiotics can help maintain good digestive health. (But since high temperatures kill probiotics, it’s best to add miso as a finishing ingredient near the end of your cooking. Luckily, that’s how miso is often used in recipes.)
A: Miso is a super versatile food and may be used as a flavor boosting ingredients in salad dressings, marinades, rubs, sauces and dips. Miso is also incredible when used with grilled fish, steaks, burgers and all kinds of entrees. Go ahead, and enjoy the umami flavor of miso is dozens of different recipes. Just link here for recipes, and have fun in your kitchen.
A: Shio koji is a mixture of malted rice (koji), salt (shio) and water used in Japan for centuries as a seasoning or ingredient. For more information on Koji and Shio Koji, please link here.
A: Please contact us through our Contact Form to find a store near you that carries our Hikari Miso products.