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The Magic of Miso

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The intensity of flavor and color of different misos, go hand in hand. “White miso” is less salty and has a mellower flavor, red miso is rather salty and has a notably intense flavor and so on. There aren’t just two types of miso to choose from though; the flavor, texture, color and degree of saltiness also depend on where the miso is produced, how long it is ferments for, if it is pasteurized and the ingredients used.

The four main miso categories you’ll find in stores are:

Shiromiso “White Miso”
Akamiso “Red Miso”
Genmai Miso “Brown Miso”
Awasemiso “Mixed Miso”

There are a number of other varieties though (all fermented with soybeans):

Hatcho Miso “Just soybeans”
Mugi Miso “Barley”
Tsubu Miso “Whole/Wheat Barley”
Soba Miso “Buckwheat”
Natto Miso “Ginger”
Moromi Miso “Unblended”
Nanban Miso “Mixed with chili pepper”
Taima “Hemp Seed”
Hadakamugi “Rye”
Nari “Cycad pulp” [found in Buddhist temples]
And more….

No matter the variety of miso you choose (as long as it’s unpasteurized and additive free) you’re bound to enjoy the health benefits.*


* Certain studies suggest to receive the optimum benefit miso should be fermented for anywhere between six months to two years.

Next: Cool facts about miso and its health benefits

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Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Healthy Aging, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole Soy Benefits, ,

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


+ add your own
4:05PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

I really like that idea of using it to replace your morning coffee or tea. I can remember my mother drinking Bovril in the evening because the caffeine in coffee bothered her. This will be the new Bovril!

1:58PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

1:42PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

I love Miso but even 2 teaspoons a day gives me high blood pressure. It's such a bummer!

4:26AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

always wondering how to use the various kinds of miso.
oh worth reading ingredients on instant/dried miso packets as they can include MSG nd bonito (fish) flakes.

10:59AM PDT on Mar 18, 2013


3:27PM PST on Feb 3, 2013

Thank you Alisa, for Sharing this!

6:17PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

Thanks. I've been wanting to try miso for it's health benefits.

5:04PM PST on Feb 17, 2012

Thanks heaps. My sushi shop just down the road sells Miso soup. It is sooooo very good. Hmm, gets up and starts to walk down to the sushi place. I think I'll have Miso soup for lunch. Thank you so very much! :D

11:58AM PST on Feb 16, 2012

i love miso! i was aware of the main kinds but didn't realize there were so many varieties. i found a chickpea miso once and loved it! i agree that miso has health benefits but i hate that it's so high in sodium.

10:29AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

Your article is a good miso guide... thanks.

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