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Difference Between White Miso and Red Miso

White miso vs. Red miso

There are many forms of miso which are commonly used in Japanese cooking. A mixture of soybeans, cereals, and koji are used to make various types and flavors of miso soup. Miso can come in the form of barley, soybeans, white, and red miso, the most popular being white and red misos. Both misos have a paste consistency and are typically served quite salty depending on the fermentation process they undergo. Japanese believed that miso soup cured radiation diseases after incidences like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is no medical proof however, that agrees with this assessment.
Barley, white rice, or soybeans are often fermented for extended amounts of time to make red miso. The process can last anywhere from one year to three years. Red miso contains the most protein out of all the various types of miso, and it’s final product appears redish brown before consumption. Not only is red miso used to make soup but it is also used in stir frys, stews, or meat and protein marinades. Additional soybeans will create a darker color when fermented, red miso can be darkened by adding even more soybeans to it, it can be lightened in the same manner.

White miso is made by using less soybeans, as they darken the color of the miso, and more rice koji. Of course white miso has the sweetest taste of all misos as it has the highest carbohydrate count of any miso. Fermentation happens much quicker than red miso because of the carbohydrates, however for this same reason the shelf life of white miso is significantly less than red miso. Foods that are made from this light colored miso are also light, pale misos and salad dressings are commonly made from white miso.

1. Miso is used in Japanese cooking, it is made from soybeans, cereals, and koji rice. It is used in marinades, dressings, and to make miso soup.
2. Red miso takes years to make from soybeans, and is red when used in marinades and stir frys. White miso is fermented quickly, yet only lasts a few days, it is used in salad dressings and light colored miso soups.

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