Made from fermented soybeans, miso paste is a Japanese ingredient that’s found a lot of use in kitchens due to its versatility. High in both protein and vitamin content, it’s a great way to add a distinct savory flavor to everything from soups to marinades and much more. And best of all, a little bit of it goes a long way.
Made from cooked soybeans and grain (typically rice), miso paste is then fermented for anywhere from three to six months to provide different flavor profiles. Shiro, or white, miso paste is typically the most common and is known for its sweet and mild flavors; aka, or red, miso paste is aged for six months and provides a smoker, more complex flavor.
No matter how you decide to use it, Miso paste is an extremely easy way to upgrade homemade dishes. Here are four of our favorites you can get from Amazon right now.
1. TastePadThai Shiro Miso Paste
This shiro miso paste comes in a two-pound bag that gives you more than enough paste to use in whatever you’re planning on making. The sweet, salty and slightly vinegary taste lends itself well to a variety of different flavor profiles, making it a versatile paste to have on hand. While storing it is a bit of a hassle, it’s worth it considering how much good use you’ll get out of using it time and time again.
Pros: Massive quantity provides lots to use.
Cons: No dedicated container makes it tough to store.
2. Miko Awase Miso Paste
If you love white and red miso pastes in equal measure, why bother settling for dedicated flavors when you can just combine them both? This paste combines the sweet taste of white miso with the rich textures of red to create a paste that balances both profiles in an elegant manner. Great to use in stews or to add some richness to a standard soup, you’ll love the unique taste it provides.
Pros: Rich, complex flavor.
Cons: Some might just want to stick to one dedicated profile taste.
3. Namikura Miso Co. Organic Aka Miso Paste
Red miso gets its strong sense of flavor and taste because it’s been fermented for longer, yielding a stronger and saltier flavor than white miso. That richness makes it great to include in really hearty dishes like chilis and stews to accent smokey notes in the overall profile of the dish. This version is beloved among many chefs and cooks for its richness.
Pros: Great flavor and texture.
Cons: Might be too smokey and bold for some.
4. Hikari Organic Shiro Miso Paste
A great entry option for those who want to incorporate more flavor into their home cooking, this white miso paste from Hikari is a fantastic all-purpose option. Great for inclusion in vegetable dishes, soups, sauces, dressings and more, its versatility lends itself to a number of foods, which means you can really play around and get a deeper understanding of the flavors it will add to your cooking.
Pros: Sweet and mild flavor goes well with almost everything.
Cons: Some might want more flavor than this provides.