Food News

Five of a Kind: Miso

The fermented soybean and paste is fundamental to Japanese cuisine.

By Jordan Kretchmer
Miso is magic in a cook's arsenal, adding rich, umami flavours to even the simplest of dishes. Originating from Japan, miso paste is a flavourful and versatile ingredient that works on almost any ingredient. This traditional fermented paste, made by combining soybeans, salt, and koji culture, is commonly used in soups, marinades, dressings, and glazes. Beyond its delicious, deeply rich taste, miso also offers a few health benefits.
From chilli-packed miso to a sweeter white miso paste, these are five best miso paste brands to add to your pantry. Then, check out our best miso recipes for tonight's dinner inspiration.

Fermentation Organic Chilli Miso

A subtle infusion of chilli brings out the fruit sweetness of this small batch paste. While the chilli addition could pigeonhole this produce, it instead adds to its versatility, creating a complex base for marinades. Equally delicious spready simply on hot toast with butter.

Rice Culture Organic Miso

This textured, dense, red miso paste is unpasteurised and packs a punch with a salty, malty umami flavour profile. The Gold Coast-based fermenters have been making misos for more than a decade, orginally inspired to make their own miso with local ingredients, after the Fukushima nuclear disaster made them question the supply chain.

Enokido Miso

Created by Japanese chef Shinji Hiraoka, this brown rice miso has become a favourite at markets stalls in Sydney and beyond. The brown rice creates a stronger, more earthy paste. Like all good unpasteurised miso, it should be stored in the fridge to prevent further fermentation.

Meru Miso Sweet White Shiro Miso

This shorter fermented style of shiro miso is sweeter on the palate than other varieties, almost reminiscent of a hard cheese thanks to its acidity and saltiness. This chunky miso can be strained after making a soup base; or used straight up in salad dressings.

Kura Organic Miso Paste

This solid pantry staple possesses a salty umami flavour and a smooth, even texture. Given its salt-forward make up, it makes for an excellent marinade, as it tenderises the protein while delivering serious flavour.
  • undefined: Jordan Kretchmer