Those new to Miso are often surprised to learn that there are near- infinite types, just as there are countless varieties of wines or cheeses. If you adjust the ratio of soy to grain to salt, the environment, the length of fermentation, or the grains chosen, a different type of miso results. Here we will discuss the types of miso that we produce here at Miso Tasty but there are many others including ; Saikyo miso ( sweet white miso) , Genmai miso (brown rice miso) and Mame Miso (pure soybean miso)
Rice Miso (Kome Miso)
Rice miso is the most common type in Japan, making up more than 80% of the miso produced. It is made from rice, soybeans & a bacterial culture & then mashed. Salt is added and the mixture is left to ferment for 6-12 months. Broadly speaking a six-month rice miso is called “shiro miso” ( white miso) and a twelve-month rice miso is called “aka miso” (red miso). White miso is milder in flavour, with gentle sweet & salty tones, while red miso has a much sharper tang with a far more pungent aftertaste.
Barley Miso (Mugi Miso)
Barley miso is the rustic, less polished cousin of rice miso. Usually darker in colour and a bit chunky in texture, it is made from soybeans, barley koji and salt, and is sometimes called “country miso”. Typically those living in the southern parts of Japan – Honshu and the islands of Kyushu & Shikoku – prefer this type of miso. Most barley miso is aged for longer than rice miso; the mixture is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, so it is not as sweet & takes longer to ferment.