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Apr 18, 2008 08:49 AM

Considering Miso for the 1st time

I've seen a number of recipes lately that I'd like to make that call for miso. I'm assuming there are lots of different kinds of miso. Are any of them considered a beginner's miso that can be used in most recipes calling for miso?

Also, I don't live near any Asian markets. Can you believe that? They are all at least 45 minutes away. So I'd like to buy in a small quantity online. What would be a good online retailer to look into? I looked at Penzey's and Igourmet and they don't have it.


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  1. Hmm. Are you interested in purchasing miso paste (the refrigerated kind) or powdered miso, the kind that people use to make miso soup that comes in little instant soup packages?

    I think the best way to begin your miso adventure is by trying to make real miso soup - with dashi (kind of like a japanese version of soup stock), some tofu, and miso paste. It's simple to make and eases you into the flavor of miso.

    good luck! :)

    1. For miso recipes, please post on our Home Cooking board. Please keep your responses here to good online sources of miso paste.

      1. I'd probably look into white miso for a beginner. They're sweeter and not as pungent. They're actually not the color white but a light beige shade as opposed to the darker-brownish-red shade for some of the misos.

        Here's an online source that can help you. I haven't tried their misos yet but they generally have high quality products.

        1. Online is a good way to get miso, as you can get the better brands that adhere to the old artisan standards, and are unpasteurized to offer the beneficial microflora.

          My three favorite producers and their websites are listed in here:

          1. Here are two sites with some good info.The first, Soya, explains some of the basic types. White miso, aged the least amount of time, is an easy way to start; lightest and sweetest. I don't see a way to order from them, but it's a nice explanation.


            The second, South River Miso, explains some of the slightly less common types. It's supposed to be great miso, but since I can get what I want locally I've never ordered it online. My all around favorite is the brown rice miso; it has a nice depth of flavor and medium strength and saltiness. Barley is probably the common; it's my second favorite.


            Generally speaking the lighter misos are used in summer and the heavy ones in the winter.