Miso Magic Tips. A staple of Japanese cooking, miso is a great way to impart a savoury note to your dishes.
There are three main varieties of miso pastes commonly available: white, yellow and red.
White miso – or shiro miso – is one of the most used types of miso, as its short fermentation time allows for a sweeter and milder flavour. It is light yellow in colour, and is made from fermented soy beans and rice. It can be used for making soups or dressings.
Yellow miso – or shinshu miso – is slightly stronger than white miso, as it is fermented for a longer period of time. However, it is still reasonably mild in flavour, with rich earthy tones. It is usually fermented with the addition of barley, and is a light brown in colour. It can be used in soups but is also great as a marinade for meats.
Red miso, also known as just ‘miso’, is a very deep red or brown colour. Out of the three varieties it is the saltiest and the strongest in flavour. It has a much longer fermentation time than white or yellow miso, and is usually fermented with barley and other grains. Due to its bold flavour, it is best suited for richer dishes like meat braises or hearty winter soups.
If you’ve never cooked with miso before, an easy way to get started is to make a simple miso soup for two. Bring three cups of water to the boil in a small saucepan. Add 100g of sliced chicken breast and simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat and stir through 3-4 tablespoons white miso paste. Divide between bowls and top with shredded nori, diced silken firm tofu and green shiso cress. Serve with a drizzle of chilli oil. (It’s important not to let the miso boil. Stirring through the miso off the heat allows the miso to be incorporated through the soup and gives you the cloudy texture of a classic miso soup.)
Try some of our favourite miso recipes: