When I recommend miso paste to my clients they usually think I’m talking about miso soup, a light broth containing a few cubes of tofu and some seaweed. Miso soup is delicious, it’s very warming and the perfect pre-sushi appetizer, but there is so much more to miso than just soup!
What is miso? It’s a semi-thick paste that’s made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a starter called a “malt.” The malt is made mostly by a bacteria called aspergillus, which is cultured on the surface of soybeans, rice, or barley grains. If you’ve never seen it before, this is what miso paste looks like: