Misoshiro - The delicious Japanese Soy Soup

Can you imagine waking up early and having that soup before work? Taking into account Brazilian customs, I find it difficult to happen. But in Japan we have the traditional soup of mission or misoshiru [味噌汁]. It is present on every Japanese table, the soup of mission it can be consumed at any time of the day - even for breakfast.

Miso is believed to have originated in China and Korea, and records of its use date back to 901 in the Heian Era. This soup is rich in vitamins and is one of those responsible for keeping the longevity of the Japanese and their youthful appearance.

Miso is full of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins B2, B12, and E as well as enzymes that aid digestion and other nutrients found in soy.

Main ingredients of miso soup

Two ingredients are mandatory to make a miso soup: dashi and miso. But what are they?

The dashi, basically speaking is all the liquid part of a broth. This is because only the flavored broth liquid is used. There are no pieces. It can be made by cooking meat, fish bones or chicken, which are not used in main dishes, in addition to vegetables, herbs and seaweed. Not all of these or other ingredients are always used.

But when you want a dashi thicker and richer in flavor, meat and bones cannot be missed. Since it is through cooking the bones that collagen is extracted, which leaves the dashi with a firm look. You can make your own dashi, but it is easily found dashi in powder.

Misoshiro - the delicious Japanese soy soup

already the Missaô is made from fermented soybeans. Soybean fermentation is obtained through the fungus Aspergillus oryzae or 麹菌, kōji-kin, also used in almost every fermentation process in Japan, including sake. Despite being the main ingredient of the mission, soy is almost always accompanied by other grains, such as rice and barley, for example.

The texture, flavor and color of the mission are almost always defined by fermentation time. The longer the fermentation time, the firmer the mission, with a stronger flavor and color.

Miso or Miso? - The term in Japanese is written without elongation, with only one S, but to facilitate the pronunciation in English, we sometimes find it written with two SS. O misoshiru is a Japanese word, while missoshiro is a word adapted to Portuguese. 

Solid Miso Soup Ingredients

Now that you know the ingredients that define miso soup, let your imagination run wild. That's right. The other ingredients are at the discretion of the cook. In Japan, ingredients are chosen according to the season and almost always have some form of contrast.

For example, many times tofu is mixed with deny, one with a mild aroma the other with a strong aroma. Another example of contrast is ingredients that float, such as wakame seaweed, and ingredients that sink, like potatoes.

Other commonly used ingredients are: daikon sliced potatoes, seaweed, onion, mushrooms, clams, shrimp and fish. But if you put pork in the soup, it is no longer miso soup and becomes tonjiru, pork soup.

Miso soup misoshiru

Different types of Misoshiro

There is not just one type of soy miso soup, most can contain different amounts of soy and other ingredients like rice. Or they can simply be composed of other ingredients. This will affect the color of the paste in the soup.

The way you prepare the misoshiro also affects the name of the recipe. For example, if you prepare the miso with pork, it can become the famous tonjiro or butajiro. This folder is also commonly used in creating other recipes and the ramen.

Barley Miso [麦味噌]

Mugi [麦] is the generic term for wheat, but in terms of miso it mainly refers to barley. Mugi-miso [麦味噌] or barley miso is a whitish miso that is produced in the areas of Kyushu, western Chugoku, and Shikoku. Another reddish mugi-miso is produced in the northern area of Kanto.

Rice Miso [米味噌]

Bei [米] is the word used for raw rice. O bei miso or kome-miso is miso with rice, it can come in a variety of colors, including yellow, yellowish white, and red. Kome miso is mostly consumed in eastern Japan and in the Hokuriku and Kinki areas.

Soy miso [豆]

The word mame [豆] is a generic term for grains, but in miso terms it refers to soy miso. Mame Miso is dark brown, more reddish than eat miso. It's not usually as sweet as the other two, but it has some astringency and good taste umami [旨味].

This mame miso requires a long period of maturation. Mame miso is mainly produced and consumed in Aichi Prefecture, part of Gifu Prefecture and part of Mie Prefecture.

Misoshiro - the delicious Japanese soy soup

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Where to Buy Miso Paste?

Misoshiro can be purchased at markets with oriental products or on the internet. We will leave below an online store where you can find a one kilo pot of miso for a very cheap price. Of course there are different brands.

I recently bought a pot of Shiro Miso and Akai Miso from Sakura. O akai and redder and stronger, the pattern has more rice in its composition, which makes it smaller and stronger. I liked it a lot and I was able to do ramen and other recipes.

In addition to the miso paste, you will need the fish broth, which is sold in Brazil under the name Hondashi. Unfortunately, I only found the professional size, which can be a bit pricey, but for the amount I think it's worth it.

In addition to the miso paste, we leave a ready-to-make misoshiro (I don't know if it's as delicious as freshly made) and also the Wakame seaweed. You can use chives or invent with other ingredients to diversify the soup.

Misoshiro - the delicious Japanese soy soup

How to prepare and serve misoshiru

Regardless of whether you choose to make your own dashi or buy it in powder form, a technique often used is to boil the solid ingredients in dashi. But never boil the miso, if you do, it's as if you were preparing a ramen.

This changes the taste of miso, reduces its health benefits and kills beneficial bacteria for the body. After cooking vegetables and meat in the dashi, remove the broth from the heat, add the miso and the other uncooked ingredients and that's it. Now just serve.

Miso soup is usually served in lacquer bowls. This makes it easier to drink the broth directly from the bowl and eat the other ingredients with hashi. If you prefer, use bowls with a lid to serve. They help to maintain the aroma and heat, as well as provide a nice presentation of the dish if you want to impress someone.

I decided not to put any recipes, because they are easily found on the internet and also because with the main ingredients each one can create their own miso soup variant. If you liked it, please share.

Misoshiro - the delicious Japanese soy soup

Missoshiro's Poem

There is a Japanese Poem written by Daizaburo Nakayama that describes the usefulness of miso well. Let's end the article with this poem below, starting with the translated version, then with the lyrics in Japanese:

In winter it is cold so you have a good miso soup.
A sweet miso soup.
This is my mother's taste
Soup took care of everyone
After my mother became an adult,
This is why I look like this every time I drink hot misso soup
That's what I remember, the mother.
Don't forget about me, Mom.

You were also born in Tohoku.
I know how you feel, but I'd rather not...
A woman who loves miso soup so hot.
What is pottage anyway?!
Sleeping on the futon in my underwear
I'm not saying it's rice.

Field rice? If you're going to build something, then Iwate Prefecture is a good place to start.
Blonde? I think blonde hair is good.
Still, people have forgotten something these days.
Are the Japanese the same?
Some Japanese forget their birthplace and miso soup.

I wonder more if the world is angry or if it's just sad.
Where did it all go, filial duty, like humanity, just paper balloons
It's been 16 years since I left home.
I dreamed of miso soup and every time I remembered it,
my childhood heart starts to ache.

I can't help but cry as I think about it tonight.
I don't know if it will snow or not.
But I really want to wish I could eat my mother's miso soup again…!

Japanese Version of the Poem

千 昌夫 歌
中山 大三郎 作詞/作曲
(セリフ)しばれるねぇ 冬は寒いから味噌汁がうまいんだよね
うまい味噌汁 あったかい味噌汁
あの人 この人 大臣だってみんないるのさ
おふくろが いつか大人になった時
なぜかえらそな顔するが あつい味噌汁 飲む度に
思い出すのさ おふくろを
わすれちゃならねえ 男意気
(セリフ)へぇーそうか おまえさんも東北の生まれか
気持ちはわかるが あせらねえ方がいいな
何がポタージュだい 味噌汁の好きな女じゃなくちゃ!!
寝るのはふとん 下着はふんどし ごはんのことを
田園調布? 家を建てるんなら岩手県 それも陸前高田がいいね
金髪? き・・・金髪だけはいいんじゃないべかねえ
それにしても近頃の人は 何か忘れてるね
日本人なら忘れちゃこまる 生まれ故郷と味噌汁を
何だかんだと世の中は 腹が立つやら 泣けるやら
どこへいたか親孝行 まるで人情 紙風船 忘れちゃならねぇ 男意気
(セリフ)ふるさと出てから16年 いつもおふくろさんの
ふところ夢見ておりました 思い出すたびに
思わず涙が出てくるんだなあ それにしても今夜はしばれるねぇ

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