Nama Miso : What type of soybean paste is it?
As you know, “Miso (味噌)” is a seasoning paste made by fermenting soybeans together with koji and salt, and is known as an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine.
Today, the Japanese soybean paste is fairly well recognized in many countries and in fact loved by many cooking enthusiasts.
Nama Miso (生味噌)
When it comes to the variety, the one with a reddish color “Aka Miso (赤味噌)”, the one with a whitish color “Shiro Miso (白味噌)”, and the blended one “Chogo Miso (調合味噌)” are most common.
Those usual Miso pastes are usually packed in plastic bags after being heated or 2 to 3 percent ethyl alcohol is added, by which the koji mold in the soybean paste is sterilized to inactivate.
Nonetheless, there is also a type of Miso that isn’t sterilized like that and is directly put in plastic bags as it is from the Miso barrel, which is known as “Nama Miso (生味噌)”, literal meaning “Raw or Fresh Miso”.
As the activity of koji mold encourages the fermentation of Miso and makes the soybean paste mature, unlike normal Miso pastes, the quality and taste of the Nama Miso paste changes over time even after they are shipped to stores.
But just because of that, Nama Miso is favored by many of those who are particular about the taste of Miso.