A combination of fermented soybean paste and dashi soup stock, savory miso soup is a simple yet indispensable element of traditional Japanese cuisine that’s been used for generations. Ancient military operations fed samurai warriors with miso soup as a part of their daily rations, an easy hit of protein during the Kamakura period that remains healthy and quick to make. Subtle in flavor and low in calories, 3 out of 4 people in Japan eat miso soup at least once every day. Fermenting time controls the intensity of miso paste, and with choices of shiromiso (white), akamiso (red), and mixed varieties, just add in some tofu cubes, green onions, or a slither of wakame seaweed and voila! Miso makes for a perfect soup to accompany almost any Japanese meal.
Throughout Japan, regional specialties and seasonal recipes using miso vary depending on the prefecture. While Nagoya is known for being absolutely miso-mad, Hokkaido has famously developed high-quality miso (often matched with butter in locally-made ramen). Not only a humble soup, miso offers itself as a versatile ingredient that can be used to flavor nabe hot pots, as a concentrated glaze slathered over wagyu beef, or a thick dipping sauce to serve. Learn how to use this essential ingredient during a Japanese cooking class, or compare regional flavors at a miso tasting event; discover the magic of miso at one of our delicious food experiences.