Rice is more integral to the culinary culture of Japan than any other food. So it’s no surprise that miso made with rice has long been enjoyed throughout the entire country. In fact, it’s so popular that almost 80% of all miso made in Japan today is rice miso.
Unlike most of the rice miso on the market today, Mitoku’s rice miso is made with brown rice, which its bran retained intact. This rice bran is a great source of nutrition, including dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids, so Mitoku’s brown rice miso has a higher nutritional value than regular rice miso.
Brown rice miso is made by inoculating brown rice with Aspergillus oryzae, a fermentation culture. The resulting brown rice Koji is then added to mashed soybeans, together with sea salt, and left to ferment. It is this fermentation process that gives Mitoku’s brown rice miso such a deliciously satisfying, perfectly balanced blend of the five tastes. Mitoku brown rice miso is available in two types: a full-bodied red miso and a medium-bodied white miso.
Organic Brown Rice Miso Red
- Dairy free
This full-bodied and wholesome blend of brown rice miso has a deliciously satisfying and harmonized balance of tastes. This is a great all-purpose miso that works particularly well in soups. Both pasteurized and unpasteurized are available.
Organic Brown Rice Miso White
- Dairy free
Mitoku Brown Rice Miso White is unpasteurized, made with organic brown rice koji. It is bright in color but rich in taste with pronounced saltiness, and is slightly sweeter than the red variety. Changing from a dark to a light miso can transform the taste and impact of a dish.
Organic Onozaki Brown Rice Miso
Available in bulk
While its extraordinary qualities have long been known in Japan, in recent years miso has come to be widely renowned internationally as a food that can be beneficial to well-being, thanks to its rich balance of enzymes, nutrients, and beneficial microorganisms.
Many claims have been made about miso’s healing powers, from aiding weak digestion to staving off radiation sickness and cancer, alleviating tobacco poisoning, improving over-acidity in the body, boosting libido, and helping to sooth intestinal infections. Today, modern medical science has begun to evaluate this nutritional powerhouse and its many healthful properties.
The reports and research listed below give an idea about miso beneficial aspects.
Miso is made by mixing Koji, mashed soybeans, salt, and water, then leaving the mixture to ferment and mature. Different types of miso can be made by adding different types of Koji to the mixture. Brown rice Koji is used to make brown rice miso; barley Koji and soybean Koji are used to make barley miso and soybean miso respectively. The climate can also have an impact on the flavour of miso, as can the water used in the production process, and the length of fermentation and maturation. There are many other variables that go into shaping the taste of miso ranging from the area of production, its climate, environment, and traditions, and the approach and specific ingredients selected by an individual producer. Here we introduce the basic method of miso production.
Preparation and Koji-making:
Preparation and Koji-making: As with sake and shoyu, the most critical element in miso making is the starter, known as Koji. This kick-starts the all-important fermentation process, and the quality of the starter does much to determine the quality of the finished miso. That’s why it’s not enough to simply sprinkle the ingredients with the starter. Instead, the Koji needs to be provided with a medium to grow on – in this case soybeans – which are washed, soaked and steamed to create the optimal conditions for the Koji to thrive. There’s more to it than just Koji and soybeans though. The producers need to be attuned to environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity in order to judge the correct ratio of Koji to soybeans. These factors have a complex interrelationship, which can change with each batch.
Once the soybeans have been washed, soaked and steamed or boiled, they are mashed before mixing with the Koji. When making lighter miso, the cooked soybeans are also skinned before being mashed.
Fermentation and maturation:
The mashed soybeans are mixed with salt and rice or barley Koji (steamed rice or barley which has been inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae) and added to large cedar fermentation vats. The vats provide the perfect environment for microorganisms to propagate and for the enzymes in the Koji to get to work on breaking down the cooked beans. The mixture is then left to ferment and mature. It is then churned around 20-30 days after being added to the vats. This is to give a boost to the good bacteria in the mixture, which work to supplement the action of the enzymes, and to ensure that the mixture ferments evenly. The maturation period can be anywhere between three months and three years, depending on the miso variety.
Dark, saltier miso combine nicely with beans, gravies, baked dishes, and vegetable stews and soups. For a simple and delicious fall or winter vegetable dish, try adding sweet chunky vegetables such as winter squash, carrots, or parsnips to sautéed onions, steaming them in 1/4 inch of water until just tender, then seasoning with dark, long-aged rice or barley miso thinned in a little water or stock just before the end of cooking. Try dark miso in thick soups using root vegetables such as burdock, carrots, and daikon. A lentil casserole seasoned with dark miso warms the body and supplies plenty of high quality protein. Although dark miso are not as versatile as light varieties, traditionally made, unpasteurized dark miso makes nutritious, flavorful, and satisfying miso soups that you can enjoy every day in fall, winter, and spring without ever becoming tired of them. Once the weather becomes warm, Mitoku suggests combining a dark and a light miso when making miso soup.
Mixed with sweet, tangy, or pungent ingredients such as mirin, rice syrup, rice vinegar, or fresh ginger, dark miso can be used in refreshing sauces. Remember that dark miso is stronger in taste than sweet miso, so use it sparingly.
Both dark and light miso are suitable for certain special uses. In general, miso is a good choice when you are looking for a salting agent, digestive aid, or tenderizer.
As a salting agent, miso supplies much more in terms of flavor and nutrition than plain salt, without salt’s harshness. When substituting miso for salt, add approximately one level tablespoon of any sweet, light miso or two level teaspoons of dark, salty miso for one-quarter teaspoon salt.
The powerful enzymatic action of unpasteurized miso is a natural digestive aid and tenderizing agent. In the digestive system miso enzymes aid the body’s own resources in breaking down complex food molecules. Foods such as beans, tomato products, and raw tofu may cause digestive discomfort. Miso helps balance and digest these foods.
For the same reason that miso aids digestion, it is also a great natural tenderizer. When used in marinades its enzymes break down the complex molecules of vegetable fiber and animal protein into more readily digestible forms. At the same time its flavor penetrates the marinating foods.
For many people making the transition to natural foods, there is a problem of interesting other family members. For families with a commitment to healthful eating, cooking for guests who are not accustomed to this way of eating can be a challenge. Miso helps bridge this gap. It brings a depth of savory flavor and a satisfying complexity to simple fare.