What's the Difference Between Red Miso and White Miso?

Miso might be best known as the ingredient in your sushi-shop soup, but the fermented soybean paste is way more than a broth starter.
By Charles Grayauskie ,

While there are hundreds of types of salty, umami-rich miso, you’re most likely to see white and red in your local grocery store. Here’s what you need to know about ’em.

Photograhy by Peter Ardito

White Miso

This combination of soy beans and rice is fermented for as little as three weeks and has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. 

How to use it: Use it to make miso soup; whisk it into salad dressings; or add a little to chocolate chip cookie dough for a salty-sweet hit. (Nobody will be able to guess the secret ingredient!)

Related Recipes: Miso Corn Soup, Miso-Glazed Shrimp & Slaw, Brisket Ramen

Photograhy by Peter Ardito

Red Miso

Usually dark or reddish brown, this boldly flavored variety can be fermented for a year or longer and has a higher concentration of soy beans than white miso. 

How to use it: Use it where you want a powerful umami punch, like in gravies or stews. It’s also a good match for meaty veggies, like mushrooms and eggplant.

Related Recipes: Broiled Miso Steak, Miso-Smoked Turkey

Join the Conversation