How is "barley miso" different from other miso? Taste and characteristics explained!

 How is "barley miso" different from other miso? Taste and characteristics explained!

Did you know that miso, a traditional Japanese condiment, can be divided into barley miso, rice miso and soy miso, depending on the type of malted rice used? This article explains the taste and characteristics of barley miso, which is commonly eaten in Kyushu, and how it differs from other types of miso.

What is barley miso?

Barley miso is a type of miso produced mainly in Kyushu, Chugoku and Shikoku regions, and is made by adding barley koji to soybeans. The barley used for this barley koji is either barley or naked barley.

Since ancient times, barley has been actively cultivated in the warm Kyushu region, where rice was hard to come by. Barley miso is said to have become the mainstay in these regions because barley was used to make koji. It is also called 'country miso' because barley miso was made in each farmhouse. Famous examples include Setouchi Mugi Miso, which has a rich barley flavour, and the sweeter Nagasaki and Satsuma miso.

To make barley miso, washed barley is first steamed and koji (malted barley rice) is added. Next, the soya beans are washed, steamed and mashed before being mixed with the barley koji. It is then prepared and matured in vats. The maturing period for barley miso is relatively short, ranging from two to six months.

Because barley miso contains a high proportion of koji, it has a light, sweet taste. It is also characterised by its strong barley savoury flavour.

Because barley miso contains a high proportion of koji, it has a light, sweet flavour. It is also characterised by a strong, savoury barley flavour. It has a light colour, but because of the large amount of koji and the ease of fermentation, it will turn black over time.

What are the different types of miso?

There are many types of miso, each of which is finely classified according to its ingredients, flavour and colour. Here we look at the classification of miso according to its different ingredients.

The main ingredients in miso are soybeans, salt and koji, but the type of miso depends on what type of koji is added. There are three types of miso: rice miso, barley miso and soybean miso, as well as compound miso, which is a mixture of several types of miso.

■Rice miso

Rice miso is made by adding rice koji, which is made from rice, to soybeans. Steamed rice is coated with koji and matured for six months to a year with the addition of soybeans and salt. Rice miso is the most common type of miso, accounting for around 80% of all miso. Rice miso is produced all over Japan and there are many different types, including 'Shinshu miso' and 'Sendai miso'. It is also characterised by its variety of colours and flavours.

■ Soy miso

Mame miso is a type of miso made solely from soybeans. Mame miso is mainly produced in Aichi, Mie and Gifu prefectures and is also known as 'Sanshu miso'. Hatcho miso and Nagoya miso are typical examples. The maturation period is long, from one to three years. The long maturation process results in a darker colour and a deep reddish-brown colour. Soy miso is characterised by its low sweetness, rich and thick flavour and abundant richness. It also has a slightly bitter and astringent taste, giving it a deep flavour. When stewed, soybean miso is characterised by its increased umami, richness and savouriness. It is said to go well with stewed dishes.

■ Mixing miso

A mixed miso is a type of miso that is made by mixing two or more different types of miso. It can also refer to miso made by mixing several types of malted rice, such as rice and barley or rice and beans. Many of the mixed miso products have fewer peculiarities and are easier to eat.

Differences with other miso

The main difference between barley miso and other miso is its aroma. Barley, the ingredient of barley miso, is known as a very fragrant grain, and barley miso also has a distinctive barley flavour. In addition, barley miso contains a higher proportion of koji than rice miso, and has the shortest maturation period of any miso. As a result, it has a sweeter taste and a lighter colour than other miso. When made into miso soup, it will give you a light and refreshing taste.

[Free Shipping] Choko Nagasaki Barley Miso Natural foods Mellowness,UMAMI 500g x2 Japan

Barley miso matured to preserve its mildness and umami. The original flavour and aroma of the miso is enhanced as it has not been heat-treated after maturing.

The barley miso has been carefully matured to ensure its mildness and umami flavour.

The original flavour and aroma of the miso is enhanced by the fact that it is a 'raw' miso that has not been heat-treated after maturing.

Ingredients :

Naked barley (Nagasaki, Oita, Kagawa), soybeans (Canada), salt (domestic).

Temperature range, storage method and precautions :

Do not pour boiling water into the container or place near a fire as it will deform due to high temperatures.

Analysis data (Quality and Safety Research Centre Ltd.):

Per 100 g

Energy 207 kcal

Protein 8.7g

Fat 3.7g

Carbohydrate 34.6g

Sodium 4.1mg

Manufacturer: Sokensha Co.


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