Miso (味噌) - pronounced misso - is a staple of Japanese cuisine.

Miso comes in the form of a thick paste that ranges in colour from light beige to black, depending on the type. Its taste ranges from slightly salty to very salty, and its flavour is rich in umami.

Miso is made by fermenting soya beans alone or with one or more cereals, mainly wheat, barley or rice. Sea salt and a ferment called kôji (麹) complete the list of ingredients.

Fermentation time varies according to the product required, and can range from a few weeks to several years. There are several categories of miso, depending on the colour and the grain used.

Miso is used as a condiment in many cooked dishes, sauces and stock bases. Its best-known uses are in the broth of miso râmen and in misoshiru, miso soup.

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