A traditional fermented seasoning, of types of Japanese miso used in a variety of ways. From the breakfast table to an open shop, and even out in the garden, discover how miso brings out the best in seasonal dishes! You might want to try it yourself in your cooking.

What is Miso is all about!

Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning used in cooking both traditional and modern dishes. It’s a fermented mash and made from soybeans and salt.

The different colors of miso types are indicative of the different ratio of soybeans and rice used to make the miso and the length of the fermentation period. The longer the fermentation, the darker and more vibrant the miso is. The taste, aroma, texture, and appearance of miso all vary by region.

Miso Types by Ingredients:

1. Rice Miso (Kome Miso)

It is made from soybeans, salt, and rice koji, and the majority of miso sold in the US, Japan, Asian countries and in Europe, is this type.

2. Barley Miso (Mugi Miso)

It is made from soybeans, salt, and barley koji, and has a very dark color and quite salty but vibrant taste. Barley miso I fermented from one to three years. These days this type of miso is not as popular as before. Itis used in southern parts of Japan. It’s used for seasoning creamy soups, stews, beans, sauces, and spreads.

3. Soybean Miso (Mame Miso)

Soybean miso made from soybean, salt, and koji produced from soybeans. A particular type of soybean miso is Hatcho Miso. Hatcho miso has a distinctive soybean flavor and slightly sweet aroma. Hatcho miso should be the age for at least 16 months, and it is reddish-brown, somewhat chunky. It is used to flavor soups and sauce.

Miso Types by Color:

1. Red Miso (Aka Miso)

It is made from about 70% soybean and 30% rice or barley. The long fermentation period (about 1 to 1.5 years) produces darker colored, sharp, and salty miso. It contains about 13% salt by volume. Red miso includes the highest levels of protein of all types of miso.

Recipe suggestions: stir-fries, miso soups, and stews or to make marinades for meat, chicken, and vegetables.

2. White Miso (Shiro Miso)

It is made from about 40% soybean and 60% rice or barley. It is a yellowish beige color, and the fermentation period is shorter than for Red Miso. White Miso is slightly less salty and less robust in flavor than Red Miso. Of all miso varieties, the white miso contains the most carbohydrates and therefore tastes the sweetest, and the texture is very smooth.

Recipe suggestions: light-colored soups, salad dressings, and marinades for fish.

3. Yellow Miso (Awase Miso)

It is a combination of Red Miso and White Miso, and it’s all-purpose.

Recipe suggestions: almost everything


Miso Types by Taste:

The taste of miso is categorizing into sweet (Ama Miso), mild (Amakuchi Miso), salty (Karakuchi Miso) based on the ratio of salt and koji used in miso

Koji Miso

It is my favorite type of miso. This miso is made with large quantities of koji, producing miso with a sweet and mild taste, a chunky texture, deep aroma, and rich flavor. Koji miso is made of rice, barley, or soybean, but the ratio of koji used in miso is higher, and koji grains are still visible.

Miso Types by Regions:

  • Shinshu Miso – Nagano area
  • Saikyo Miso – Kyoto area
  • Hatcho Miso – Nagoya area
  • Sendai Miso – Sendai area

Saikyo Shiro Miso has a light beige color and a distinctive sweet flavor. It’s sweet due to its low sodium content (about 5-10%). It’s made with more rice and fewer soybeans with a short fermentation period. Because of its mild flavor and less saltiness, it’s used to marinate fish and vegetables (Saikyo Yaki) and make a special New Year’s Soup called Ozoni (Kansai style).

Hatcho Miso is mostly consumed in Aichi prefecture (where Nagoya is in), part of Gifu prefecture, and part of Mie prefecture. You can purchase the miso throughout Japan, but it is rarely used in daily meals.


There is no appropriate substitute for miso.


You can keep the miso for up to one year in the refrigerator or freezer.


  • ¼ cup = 75-80 grams
  • 1 cup = 300-320 grams
  • One tablespoon (18-20 g) of miso per one miso soup bowl (200 ml dashi)

Miso Recipe:

How to make miso soup

Stay tuned the recipe will be added to my next post.

Miso is used mainly in soups miso soup almost every day, but it is also used to season many dishes.


Health Benefits of Miso Soup

Japanese people drink miso soup daily as we believe this delicious, healing soup is a gateway to excellent health. Just like green tea, you can safely say miso soup is the elixir of the Japanese diet. Here are just some health benefits of miso soup:

1. Helps maintain a healthy digestive system

With its beneficial probiotics, drinking miso soup helps to improve your overall digestion and absorption of nutrients.

2. Good Source of Nutrients

Miso is rich in minerals as well as copper, manganese, protein, Vitamin K, and zinc. Therefore, drinking a bowl of miso soup a day is like taking a natural supplement for your health.

3. Good for bones

Miso soup provides many bone-building minerals like calcium, magnesium, and manganese, which helps to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

4. Improve your heart

The natural chemical compounds in miso, such as Vitamin K2, linoleic acid and saponin, are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol.

To enjoy the fantastic health benefits of miso soup, you will want to make your miso soup. The instant miso soup will not be as good since they tend to contain higher sodium and may include other preservatives. There are some good brands out there, so be sure to read the label.

Now that you’ve learned how to make miso soup at home, I hope you enjoy this nourishing soup every day!


Please follow and like us:


My name is Lynn; I am a nutritionist, a devoted housewife, and a mother of two smart and amiable daughters.
Welcome to my website, “My healthy Japanese diet.” Yes, My love is healthy Japanese diet, and the enlightened healthy living in Japan.

Come along and join me!

Recommended Articles


  1. Very informative post, I learned so much about the benefits of Miso, which previously I’d never heard of. Really looking forward to your recipe post.

    1. Hi Andy,

      Thank you for the kind comments. I’m glad that I have able to provide some information about one of the most staple ingredients use in Japanese foods that makes them healthy and live longer.

      In my next post, I’ll be writing about the recipe and stay tuned.

      Best regards,

  2. Hello! Thank you so much for this post! I had no idea that there were so many different kinds of miso. It is interesting to see all of the health benefits. I never gave it a second thought in regards to this. I always just get it when I am out to eat, but never knew much about it. Than you for this information!

    1. Hi Ashley,

      I’m glad to know that you are interested in Japanese foods, yes miso is the staple ingredients in all recipes, especially the soup.
      Miso is nutritious because it comes from fermented soybeans with lots of nutrients that the body needs.

      Thank you and best regards,

  3. Very interesting article! I had no idea there were so many different types of miso soups out there! I also had no idea about all the health benefits! Wow, very cool that you can get all those nutrients with Miso!

    1. Hi Jerry,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      In Japan, Miso is used in different seasons, so as well the defending on the main dish that served, for example, if the main dish is fish or sushi, they usually served the red miso and meat and vegetable are the white and brown miso.

      It is nutritious, for it comes from fermented soybeans.


  4. Hey!
    Great post I have always loved miso and have used it in many recipes. The health benefits are fantastic and I also think the taste is underrated. I will be attempting to make some miso of my own soon so any tips will be greatly appreciated 🙂
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Justin,

      I’m so excited to know that you love miso.
      Miso is the most popular ingredient in the Japanese menu, not only for soup; it can use for sauteing, simmering, and hot pots during cold winters.

      I love miso soup and served it every day.

      Thank you for stopping by,

  5. Hello!
    Awesome post. I think I’m gonna have to try some of these varieties because they sound delicious. I never knew it could last so long in the freezer. Lots of good information here I didn’t know. Thank you!

    1. Hello Mitch,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      If it is your first time try and taste miso, I recommend that you try the tofu with wakame seaweeds white miso soup. In my next post, I’m be adding a menu on miso soup, so stay tuned.

      All the best,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.