Beyond Miso Soup: More Ways to Use Miso Paste

FOOD  |  May 12, 2017
  • Good for you and delicious
    1 / 6 Good for you and delicious

    First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room. Tasty as it is, miso gets a bad rep because of its relatively high sodium content—about 634mg* per tablespoon (about the amount used for two bowls of soup), or a little more than a third of our recommended daily limit of 2,000mg—but it’s not all bad news. According to a study by Kyoritsu Women’s University in Tokyo, Japan, the nutrients in miso actually slow the absorption of sodium in the gastrointestinal tract, so it doesn’t spike hypertension the same way ingesting sodium from regular salt does. Still, despite miso’s touted anti-cancer, anti-ageing, and digestion-improving benefits, it’s good to keep our overall sodium levels in mind and consume this fermented soya product in moderation.

    Head to the next page to learn which paste to choose and how to use it!

    Also Read: Make Your Own Hawaiian Raw Fish Salad (Poke)

    *Nutritional figures through article from United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database

    Images from Pixabay

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  • Choosing miso
    2 / 6 Choosing miso

    Typically made from fermented soya beans, the umami-rich paste is sometimes combined with other grains like rice, barley, wheat, or rye for a different taste profile.

    White (shiro) and red (aka) miso are the most well-known, though the top option differs as you travel across Japan—those in the Kansai region encompassing Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe lean toward shiro miso, while those in the Kant? prefectures including Tokyo, Ibaraki and Chiba tend to go for aka miso. Mixed blend (awase) miso also exist for those who want something in-between, and as you can probably guess, the richer the hue, the bolder and more salty the flavour!

    Tasty ways to use these ahead.

    Also Read: A Guide to Your Favourite Sashimi

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  • Whip up new sauces
    3 / 6 Whip up new sauces

    Punch up a ho-hum pesto or tomato sauce with a teaspoon of light to medium miso. You can also add the bean paste to salad dressings to round out the astringency from the acids. If you’re a pasta lover, try a healthier new spin on classic cream sauce. Heat up your chopped alliums in some oil, swap cream for milk, and stir in a tablespoonful of miso when the milk starts to simmer for richness. Plopping in some wasabi at the end will also liven up this tasty dish.

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  • Create delicious marinades
    4 / 6 Create delicious marinades

    Besides soya sauce, you can also loosen up some miso with a touch of water to marinade meats, seafood, and veggies. Alternatively, to preserve more of miso’s health benefits, mix up the paste with a bit of water and honey and brush it onto your foods after grilling. A sprinkling of sesame to top off the dish will make it look and taste even more spectacular.

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  • Enrich your stocks
    5 / 6 Enrich your stocks

    A tiny spoonful of miso will boost any veggie, fish, or meat stock. Darker hued miso pastes are good in stews too, but remember to only season your dish with salt afterwards, if needed, or the end result may be too briney.


    Also Read: 5 Ways to Eat Green Caviar, the Latest Healthy Food

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  • Swop out the sea salt
    6 / 6 Swop out the sea salt

    Where once it was novel to add sea salt to sweet goods like cookies, caramels, ice cream, and cakes, we’re ready to move on. Miso is more complex and earthy, imparting a malty undertone to our favourite treats. Since a pinch of coarse sea salt has about 500mg-600mg of sodium, you could probably substitute that with one to two teaspoons of mild white miso for an unusual yet subdued twist to your recipe.

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