Nama Miso: What type of Soybean Paste is it?

Known as an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine, miso (味噌) is a seasoning paste made by fermenting soybeans with koji and salt.

Today, the Japanese fermented seasoning is well recognized in many countries and loved by cooking enthusiasts.

Nama Miso (生味噌)

Nama Miso vs. Regular Miso Pastes

When it comes to the variety, the one with a red color Aka Miso (赤味噌), the one with a white color Shiro Miso (白味噌), and the blended one called Chogo Miso (調合味噌) are most common.

Makers usually pack those regular miso pastes in plastic bags after heating or adding 2 to 3 percent ethyl alcohol, by which they inactivate the miso’s koji mold.

Miso Barrels

However, there is a type of miso called Nama Miso (生味噌: meaning Raw or Fresh Miso), which isn’t sterilized like that, directly put into plastic bags from the miso barrel as it is.


Wakame and Tofu Miso Soup

Unlike ordinary varieties, the quality/taste of Nama Miso changes over time as the activity of koji mold encourages fermentation and matures the paste even after being shipped to stores.

But mainly because of that, those particular about miso tend to favor Nama Miso.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 味噌, Marukawa Miso )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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