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Miso: Gift from the Gods

jap symbol for health 2 169x300 What is Miso?

Seven Main Varieties of Miso (either light or dark):

1. Shiro Miso

“Mellow White” miso is the most popular miso. Light in color and mellow in flavor, shiro miso is a pleasant way to introduce miso to the first time user.  Ideal for soups, dressings and dips. (This is my favorite.)

2. Aka Miso
“Red miso” is darker in color than shiro miso but remains mellow in flavor. Cultured differently than the shiro miso, aka miso is richer than shiro.

3. Genmai Miso
“Brown Rice” miso is very popular in the natural food industry and has a nutty but mellow flavor. Made from whole soybeans, brown rice, water, sea salt and koji (Aspergillus orizae), genmai miso is a more recent creation, developed particularly for the foreign natural food market.

4. Mugi Miso
“Barley” miso is dark in color but mellow in flavor. Made from whole soybeans, pearled barley, water, sea salt and koji (Aspergillus orizae), mugi miso was once the most common variety of miso in Japan.  This miso is fermented in wood at natural temperatures for at least 18 months. Because it is made with a slightly higher proportion of barley to soybeans, it develops a light sweetness, and is one of the more mellow varieties of substantially aged barley miso.

5. Hatcho Miso
Dark miso is made from soybeans, water, sea salt and a special koji (Aspergillus Hatcho). Hatcho miso is considered the top quality.

6. Kome Miso
“Rice” miso is made from whole soybeans, white rice, water, sea salt and koji (Aspergillus orizae). Kome miso is one of the most popular misos in Tokyo.

7. Mame Miso
Soybean miso.  Like the hatcho miso, mame miso is made from soybeans, water, sea salt and koji (Aspergillus orizae). However, the mold inoculate is different, and the miso ferments without the extreme pressure used for the production of hatcho miso.

Note: If you are allergic to soybeans use with caution.

Also, always make sure the miso you buy is organic and not GMO which is the way many soybeans are grown.

Miso Recipes:
Miso Soup with Spinach: Loved by millions every day – often as a breakfast!
Miso Sauce: quick and easy and delicious! 

10 Benefits and Uses for Miso
Fermented Foods: Essential Digestive Aids
13 Healthy Diet Habits from Around the World

Read more: Basics, Eating for Health, Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, ,

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


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2:17PM PST on Feb 3, 2015


7:26AM PST on Feb 1, 2015

Thank you

12:30AM PST on Jan 6, 2015


12:30AM PST on Jan 6, 2015


2:34AM PST on Dec 8, 2014

Miso is great. Makes awesome dressing, soup, gravy, everything. I even eat a small bit straight. Nice to see a list of the different types. If you are new to miso, try it!! It's not so expensive when you see how much you actually use. It's concentrated. I would suggest the white or yellowish types for starts.

8:59AM PST on Dec 6, 2014

good to know...thanks..

11:59PM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

Thanks for the info. I want to eat some miso

5:49AM PDT on Sep 7, 2014

I buy miso by internet in a japanese shop in Paaarisss (with the proper amount of radiations ;p) use some about every day and in fact it s not so expensive considering the few grams you need to use.
adopted for soups, sauces, dressings,excellent for marinades and so on...i use clear water instead of oil.
The one i prefer is Shinshu miso, with seedweed and bonite.

7:30AM PDT on Jul 18, 2014

too expensive :-(

8:47PM PDT on May 19, 2014

Something new to me. Thanks.

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