Miso Paste: Definitive Guide to Common Questions
Is Miso Paste Keto Friendly?
Miso paste is a super simple paste you can add to most Asian dishes to really enhance its flavor. But most importantly it is very low in carbs, in 1 tablespoon of miso paste contains only 5 grams of carbs.
So it’s definitely not carb free, though it makes up for being a very healthy nutrition for your body. Since it is a good source of various B Vitamins, Vitamins E, K and Folic Acid.
Moreover the taste of some paste that is frequently bought in stores has a very strong concentration to them. Hence you will never no need more than 1 or 2 spoons of paste for any dish.
Besides that, if you’re worried about finding recipes that is low carbed and uses miso paste here’s some great recipes I found:
- Asian Keto Miso Soup Recipe
- Keto Miso Chicken with Beans
- Mushroom and Cabbage Miso Stir-Fry (Vegan, Low-Carb)
- Keto Ramen, Quick and Easy with Low Carb Noodles
Nevertheless I found them super delicious, and they show how you can use miso in your everyday activities. Also the fact that there’s are just so many keto friendly alternatives from meat to noodles that can be a part of your diet.
Shelf Life in the Refrigerator
Firstly miso paste is a type of preservative food that can be kept for up to a year and still have consistent taste. Since it has a lot of salt in its ingredients, which can work as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacterias.
Although this is a tough science to understand, it mainly lowers the amount of water activities through salt dehydration. Where the outside molecules draws water out and replaces them with more salt molecules.
But the fridge is a great place to preserve the paste for best quality, because it is very low in temperature. However, refrigeration is not a huge thing that you must do.
Since even if not in the fridge, a tub of paste can last up to 3–6 months in the pantry. Hence only store it if it is labeled to refrigerate after opening or if you aren’t going to use it frequently.
However, even though the paste may preserve for a long time it does age. Therefore you will find changes in its taste in color. This is because of the decomposition of sugar, protein, and amino acids inside the miso
So as time goes on, you will still notice taste differences in the miso. Generally white miso last up to 2–6 months, while brown to red miso will stay for about 3–12 months. But it all depends on the paste’s exact salt and moisture content.
Healthiest Type of Miso Paste
Although there are many different types of miso paste to choose from, there are no inherent best types of paste. Because in terms of cooking, it can really depend on how strong of a flavor you desire and the type of cooking you are going to use it for.
But let’s talk about the 4 major types of miso:
White Saikyo Miso:
Firstly the white miso is fermented from soybeans and rice, and has a shorter period of fermentation. Secondly in terms of taste, it is very mild and slightly sweeter in flavor. So the smooth flavor of this type makes it a very popular choice for soups, dressings, marinades, or dips.
Aka Red Miso:
Following is the red miso with ingredients including soybeans, barley, among other grains. And it has this mature taste that is rich in umami, but salty and pungent flavor. So due to the intense flavors you want to add only a small to certain heartier dishes like soups, stews, marinades, or glazes for meats and vegetables.
Shinshu Yellow Miso:
Now for the shinshu miso, it’s fermentation is much longer and about one year. With more thick earthy stronger wholesome taste that slightly stronger than white, but not as intense as aka miso. And it is an all purpose miso that’s a good addition for a variety of different purposes.
Shiro Awase Miso:
Lastly is the awase miso which is the most widely distributed type of miso that is light beige to brown in color. Generally the fermentation for this miso paste lasts at least a few weeks. Moreover it is suitable for a far range of Japanese dishes and as substitute for dairy in some recipes.
Miso Paste VS Tahini
Although Tahini can be very paste-like in texture similar to miso paste dips, it is ground from sesame seeds and not soybeans. But it is a good substitute for miso beans in recipes where you want a nutty, rich, but slightly bitter body.
Moreover Tahini can provide a more complexity to the flavor of the food. And this paste provides a natural peanut butter flavor that is common in cold noodle dishes of Chinese cuisine.
But Tahini is different in terms of shelf life, since it doesn’t have any preservatives to prevent it from going bad. So an unopened bottle of Tahini will last for 4 to 6 months. And even though it may last for a long time, it is best that is used within 6 months to avoid going bad.
Gut Health Benefits
First of all, our gut is deeply connected to the overall health of our digestive system. And one of the great things about miso paste is that it is fermented so it promotes a certain bacteria called lactobacilli.
Which can facilitate the absorption of nutrients in our body. Thus promoting an overall healthy pH in our digestive system.
But what’s important about a balanced pH in our body is that it will help combat diseases and avoid bad bacterias. Moreover, this healthy balance from miso will help the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Besides that, miso paste is frequently used for cooking miso soup which has beneficial enzymes and important minerals. Nonetheless also a source of dietary fiber that will aid in digestion as well.
Lastly the fermented paste is a source of probiotic that contains millions of beneficial microorganisms called “normal flora”. Which helps process indigestible fiber, protect from pathogenic bacteria, and avoid certain intestinal infections.
Are There Any Health Risks in Miso?
Although miso paste is greatly beneficial for our body and provides for a healthy gut. Contrastingly it is bad for individuals who are prone to high blood pressure. Since it is relatively high in sodium, with about 600 mg per tablespoon.
Moreover because miso is made from fermented soybeans you’ll want to avoid it if you’re allergic to soy foods. Furthermore in the paste there’s a compound called Amino Acid Tyramine which will interact and affect certain antidepresents.