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Miso - Japanese Healthy Food

Miso, the iconic ingredient in miso soup, has become a notable ingredient not only to people in Japan but also the rest of the world. What kind of impression do you have when you think of miso? Some people may not think of miso outside of miso soup. However, miso is as good as natto for your health, which we previously introduced in a newsletter as a healthy Japanese food. (Both are made of soybeans!) But what kind of nutrition does miso have? What are the benefits of consuming miso? In this week's blog posts, we will introduce the health benefits of miso, miso offered at Maido, a recipe of homemade instant miso soup, how to store miso, and the history of miso. We hope you learn something new by reading it.


Different Types of Miso

At Maido, we offer different kinds of miso. Have you ever been confused when choosing one because there are some options, or have you ever bought some and it tasted different from what you imagined it would taste like? In this issue, we will introduce the differences between different types of miso.

Miso can be divided into "kome rice miso," "mugi barley miso," and "mame soybean miso" depending on the type of koji used, and "awase mixed miso," which is a mixture of the three. The main ingredients in miso are soybeans and salt, and the difference is what kind of koji is added. Koji is cooked rice and/or soybeans that have been inoculated with a fermentation culture, Aspergillus oryzae. Kome rice miso It is made by adding rice koji to soybeans. Mugi barley miso It is made by adding barley koji to soybeans. Mame soybean miso The main ingredient is soybeans only, as soybean koji is used. Awase mixed Miso This is a product made by combining two or more different types of miso, such as "rice miso + soybean miso" or "rice miso + barley miso," or by brewing miso with a mixture of multiple types of koji. Compared to miso made with a single type of koji, most miso made with a combination of two or more different types of koji is less peculiar and has a milder flavor.

Miso also varies in taste. Flavor is determined by the amount of salt and koji-buai. Koji-buai is the ratio of koji to soybeans. If the salt content is the same, miso with a higher koji ratio will have a sweeter taste.

Miso is classified into three types according to the color of the finished product: shiro white miso, tanshoku light-colored miso, and aka red miso. The color varies depending on various conditions, including the type of soybeans and other ingredients, whether the soybeans are boiled or steamed, if there is more or less koji, and if the miso is stirred during fermentation. In addition, during the fermentation and ripening period, miso turns reddish in color due to a chemical reaction called the maillard reaction. The maillard reaction refers to the reaction of amino acids with sugar to produce a brownish color, and the longer miso has been brewed and the more advanced the maillard reaction, the darker the color of the miso will become.


Miso Maido Currently Offers


Hikari Miso

They craft their distinctive, flavorful foods in Nagano, Japan, where the forces of water, air, and cool climate come together in singular fashion to provide an ideal environment for making miso. Long before it was fashionable, their visionary artisans pioneered making natural and tasty organic miso. They have been making organic miso since 1997. The soybeans and rice used to produce their organic miso products are grown on strictly managed farms that adhere to the highest standards and practices. No banned chemicals or synthesized fertilizers can be used during cultivation. These farms are located in environments with cool weather, moderate rain, and nutritious black soil, which favor cultivation. The organic rice farms are located in environments with temperate climate and excellent clean irrigation. They thank nature for her blessings and all that they grow and harvest together.

Hikari Miso, Organic Miso Red Miso

It is made from organic rice and soybeans, with a bright red color. Long fermentation process creates its distinct, deep, and rich taste, with a strong miso aroma.

Hikari Miso, Organic Miso White Miso

It is the traditional Shinshu-style miso with a bright beige color and an excellent balance of refreshing aroma and umami. It is the most versatile kind among Hikari Miso organic miso series to match with any cooking.

Hikari Miso, Organic Miso Mild Sodium Miso

This product is even healthier than others as it has less sodium. It is also the traditional Shinshu-style made from organic rice and soybeans, and has a yellow color. The high koji ratio creates a mild and sweet taste.

Hikari Miso, Organic Miso Barley Miso

It is made from organic barley and soy beans, and has a bright beige color. It has a pronounced barley scent, plus balanced umami and sweetness.

Hikari Miso, Organic Miso Mild Saikyo Sweet Miso

It is made from organic rice and soybeans, and has an off-white color. Great as a marinade and a sauces, the strong sweetness highlights the flavor of fish, meat, poultry, and vegetables. It's perfect to use for Japanese exquisite Kaiseki.



Japanese fermented foods are great not only to fill your stomach, but are also full of warmth Japanese people have cultivated since ancient times. They are proud to pass on the warmth of Japan to the future. In the past, miso was a necessity in daily life. However, they believe that what is really needed now is for the future. They are committed to delivering not only good taste and good health, but also daily joy and a source of power to live for people all over the world. This is the mission of Marukome, a company that has been working with fermented foods in Japan since 1854. Fermented foods are energy for the future. They believe in their potential. Marukome will continue to move forward.

Marukome, Ryotei no Aji with Dashi Broth

Based on a richly flavored red miso, it is blended with just the right amount of bonito fish and kombu kelp dashi. This is Marukome's best-selling miso with dashi. This is a very convenient product that saves you time in preparing dashi and adjusting the flavor balance with miso.

Marukome, Ryotei no Aji Low Sodium with Dashi Broth

This product is created with 20% less sodium than another Marukome miso, while maintaining the delicious Ryotei no Aji flavor. This product also contains bonito fish and kombu kelp dashi. Why not pick this easy healthy miso?

Marukome, Ryotei no Aji Additive-free

This additive-free miso is made from only rice, soybeans, and salt. It is a light-colored Shinshu miso with a 14% rice koji ratio and does not contain dashi.

Marukome, Plus Koji Additive-Free Koji Bijin

This additive-free miso has a gentle sweetness and deep flavor made with 100% Japanese rice and luxurious rice koji.

Marukome, Organic Miso

Their Organic Miso paste is made with 5 simple ingredients: organic rice, organic soybeans, organic alcohol, filtered water, and organic salt. Create delicious organic meals with this healthy and high-quality miso paste.

Marukome, Organic Miso Reduced Sodium

This miso has 25% less sodium than their original, but it is just as flavorful. Organic and reduced sodium make it the healthiest option.


We will introduce health benefits of miso and how to store miso in the next blog post. Stay tuned!


There is a lot of food items, housewares, stationery, and gifts available at the store and our online store, Maido! Kairashi Shop, where you can place your order for shipping or store pickup! Happy shopping. :)


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