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Miso is s fermented soy bean paste.
It's one of the most popular Japanese ingredients. It is fermented foods. So it's a good source of probiotics.
Is Miso gluten free?
Miso is made of fermented soy beans. So most products are gluten free.
But some types of miso contains wheat.
So if you are sensitive with gluten, make sure to check the ingredients list on the packet.
Some Miso has different colour.
Which one should I buy?
There are many different types of Miso in Japan, but basically, it can be categorised in 3 kinds:
-White Miso (白味噌 "Shiro miso")
-Light coloured Miso (淡色味噌 "Tansyoku miso")
-Red Miso (赤味噌 "Aka miso")
White Miso is a basic one.
If you are a beginner, and not sure what to buy, start with these ones.
This is the stuff that we use for most dishes which contains miso.
It tastes less salty, and slightly sweet.
Light coloured Miso is also a quite basic one.
It looks brown, and it's a type of Miso in between the White and Red.
It can be used for anything too. And this is my favourite type of Miso.
It tastes richer than white miso, but less sweeter.
On the other hand,
Red Miso is a tricky one.
It has deep richness and saltiness, and characteristic flavour.
This Miso is often used for sweet and savoury type of dishes such as "Miso Katsu" (Tonkatsu served with thick miso sauce). It is one of the iconic dish in Nagoya Japan.
The other typical example is the Sushi restaurant's red Miso soup called "Aka-dashi (赤だし)" in west side of Japan.
In west side of Japan (in other word: Kansai "関西"),
it's very common to see "Aka-dashi" in Sushi restaurants' menu.
Basically, it's a Red miso soup with some fish offcuts.
The chefs keep their fish offcuts during the prep, and add it to their miso soup.
So they can makes money with it.
And it's so flavoursome. Because it's still sashimi quality fishes.
So if you are planning to go to Kansai area in Japan, go to a decent sushi restaurant (doesn't have to be michelin-star level), and order Aka-dashi. You will love it!!
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