Miso isn't the prettiest ingredient in the pantry, but this Japanese paste of fermented soybeans and grains gets by on its rich, earthy flavor alone.


There are more than 1,000 brands of miso available. How to choose? The F&W staff tested a wide selection to find the best.

Japanese markets

Any brand of Echigo miso (from the Niigata region of Japan). They have a naturally fermented, salty and refined character.

Specialty markets

Shirakiku brand misos. Both the red (aka) and the white (shiro) varieties are well-rounded and nuanced in flavor and texture.

Supermarkets or health food stores

Westbrae Natural Brown Rice Miso. It's additive-free, which accounts for its clean taste.

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