Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 24, 2005 01:43 AM

Yellow Miso

  • a

I bought a pack of yellow miso and only used 4 tablespoons. How long does this keep in the fridge? Can I freeze it? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What's yellow miso? Brown and red misos keep forever and ever in the pantry, as long as you keep them well-sealed so they don't dry out. White ("shiro") misos spoil in a few weeks to a year.

    In general, if it is too dried out to make soup with, it makes better compost. If it has mold on it, you should scrape the mold off. And if the smell is such that you don't want to eat it, there's no reason to ask whether it's edible - unless you are starving to death, in which case you are probably out looking for a job rather than piddling around on the internet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Noah

      If any food item has mold on it throw it away. Most of the mold is the roots, by the time you see it on the surface the mold roots have grown all through the item. While some molds are benefical, and some harmless, some are not.

    2. I believe you have shiro miso, of which I also have a small tub. I put miso in the same category as soy and fish sauce (only dif. is I store the miso in the fridge)--they all seem to last indefinitely as long as they are properly stored.

      Miso can dry out, so I put plastic wrap touching the surface of the miso before I put the lid on. Store it in an area of the fridge where you can readily see it (like on the door), otherwise, it'll get pushed to the back where (if you're like me) you'll forget that it's there til 6 months later. I've never had miso get moldy, but be careful to not contaminate it w/ other things.

      BTW, any suggestions and/or recipes for using up my unopened tub of shiro miso? I usually use it for making broth for soups, but want to start using it more in salad dressings, marinading seafood and veggies, and whatever else...thanks.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Carb Lover

        What to do with miso? Plenty of things!!! First of all, you need to determine if it is in fact yellow or white miso. Shiro miso (white) miso is also known as Saikyo miso.

        Saikyo shiro (white) miso originates in Kyoto and is quite different from yellow miso. The shiro miso is much finer in texture and can be a bit on the sweet side with a hint of caramel on the nose. This is the miso that is an integral part of Nobu`s signature "Black Cod with Miso" dish. His recipe is:

        It is also used blended with nerigoma (sesame paste - not tahini, but sesame paste) and used as a dressing for blanched greens or as a dip for crudite. Mix one part Saikyo miso with one part nerigoma and soften with a bit of dashi until you get the consistency you like. This is easy to make, and will keep in the fridge. You will quickly go through the rest of your miso with this recipe alone.

        Use Saikyo miso for a "karashi-su-miso" sweet and hot drssing for vegies, a recipe is in Tsuji`s cookbook.

        Yellow miso is saltier than white miso and is a bit rougher in texture. I like this mixed with walnuts for a nutty dressing for crudite or blanched greens. In a mortar and pestle, crush a handful of toasted walnuts into a paste. Blend with 3 tablespoons of yellow miso, one tablespoon of sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of mirin (to taste). This too will keep in the fridge for quite a while. This is known as a type of "name-miso" or finger-licking good miso. You may want to try this is a topping to grilled tofu.

        For "su miso" a salty and sour dressing, in a non-reactive pan over low heat combine 50 grams of miso, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of sake. When all of the ingredients have blended and melded together transfer to a non-reactive bowl. Blend in 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar (much softer in flavor than table vinegar in America).

        If you want to try a "karashi su miso" (hot and sour miso) dressing, take the above "su miso" dressing and add karashi mustard to taste (usually 1/2 - 1 teaspoon).

        "Goma miso" or sesame miso with yellow miso is also a snap. In a mortar and pestle, mix to a paste 3 tablespoons of toasted white sesame seeds. To that add 50 grams of yellow miso and 1/3 cup of white sugar, and 2 tablespoons mirin. Transfer to a non-reactive pan, add 2 tablespoons of water, and stir over low heat until the flavors have melded. If you want a looser texture, thin with dashi or sake.

        All of the dressings will keep in the fridge! If you get hooked, you will find yourself going through the miso faster than you imagined. It also makes eating vegetables fun!


        1. re: Yukari

          Thanks for the comprehensive post, Yukari. However, I'm a little confused: you mentioned Saikyo Shiro (white) miso being different from yellow miso. Yet another poster said Shiro miso was yellow miso. Does that mean "shiro" miso = yellow, and "saikyo shiro" = white ?
          I was in the Japanese supermarket yesterday and the mustardy-yellow miso was labelled 'shiro' while the milky-yellow miso was called 'saikyo'.

          Another question: I bought the mustardy-yellow 'shiro' miso, intending to make Nobu's black cod, but sounds like I should've bought Saikyo miso instead. If I go ahead and use what I bought, should I just use less than the recipe calls for, marinade for a shorter period, and add more sugar/mirin to account for its saltier nature? Thanks.

          1. re: ju

            Ah yes....I live in Japan and have not shopped for Japanese ingredients in New York for a few years. Imagine that it may be a bit of a hurdle.

            First of all, you can try the yellow miso for the Nobu dish, but you will not get the same results. May try to blend in some sugar or mirin. But my opinion is that if you are going to use a nice piece of fish, you should do it with the proper miso. The marinade can be used several times. Be sure to use a piece of cheesecloth between the fish and miso marinade.

            Am not sure what you are purchasing. You should be able to confirm with the staff which miso you are purchasing. However, I do remember Chinese girls behind the counter at Sunrise Mart who were not that helpful a few years back.

            Saikyo miso is the white, somewhat sweet and caramel-like miso from Kyoto.

            Although there are hundreds of varieties of miso in Japan, it sometimes is simplified down to "shiro" (white) and "aka" (red) miso. However, "shiro" may not be exclusively Saikyo miso, but most likely will also include some of the saltier thank Saikyo, yellow miso.

            I usually keep a few different miso in the fridge. They tend to keep for a long time.

            Hope that helps!

          2. re: Yukari

            "Miso" thankful for your help, Yukari. Your post and link def. helps me to understand and feel more comfortable using miso. I checked my tub and it's labeled as "mild shiro miso" made by Kane Masa. Is there one brand that you favor? Thanks again.

            1. re: Carb Lover

              I am still exploring the world of miso here in Japan and do not have a "favorite". Do not know the Kanemasu. Curious if there was more than one Saikyo miso available at your store. If there was, that is pretty cool.

              Happy cooking! Feel free to email me at the address listed if you have any questions in the future.

              Ganbatte kudasai (good luck!)

            2. re: Yukari

              Yukari and Carb Lover, thank you for your very informative posts. I almost tossed my miso since I've had it since early March and forgot about it until I rediscovered it the other day in the back of the fridge. Thankfully, I've sealed it best I could and it doesn't seem to show any mold. Here's a link to a quick eggplant recipe with Miso.


            3. re: Carb Lover

              "want to start using it more in salad dressings, marinading seafood and veggies, and whatever else."

              I recommend that you start using it in salad dressings, marinading seafood and veggies, and whatever else.

              Seriously, it's easy. It's salty, has a somewhat meaty flavour, and can be slightly sweet (shiro) or bitter (hatcho). So just add it to something and see what happens. It is always welcome (don't tell the guests) in bean and other soups. In a salad dressing, you figure that it replaces all of your salt, a little of your liquid, and a little of your acid. But it doesn't act all that well as a marinade considering the cost. You can pickle in it, though, or use it to coat something before grilling or broiling for a toasty roasty flavor.