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MISO (MEE-soh)

A fermented Japanese bean paste
Common clues: Japanese soup; Soybean paste; High-protein soup; Japanese soup ingredient;
Soup with sushi; Soy-based soup
Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year
Frequency in English language: 81129 / 86800
Recipe: Salmon Miso Soup
Miso Soup with James Brown

Miso is a traditional Japanese food produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the mold kōjikin (the most typical miso is made with soy). The typical result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup called Misoshiru, a Japanese culinary staple. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan. Miso is still very widely used in Japan, both in traditional and modern cooking, and has been gaining world-wide interest. Miso is typically salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savoury, and there is an extremely wide variety of miso available.

Miso for sale in a Tokyo food hall.

During the Edo period miso was also called hishio and kuki.

Until the Muromachi era, miso was made without grinding the soybeans, somewhat like natto. In the Kamakura era, a common meal was made up of a bowl of rice, some dried fish, a serving of miso, and a fresh vegetable. In the Muromachi era, Buddhist monks realized that soybeans could be ground into a paste, spawning new cooking methods where miso was used to flavor other foods.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Miso"