Mainly looking to use it as an ingredient (vegetarian substitute for anchovies, etc) but I can't seem to find one that tastes as good as the miso I find in restaurants. Is there a reliable brand I can look for in the Asian supermarkets? Thanks!
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My favorite is Westbrae Natural. I usually buy the red paste, as it's most like the miso you find in restaurants.
I will try it- thank you! I think you are right about getting red. Have only tried white and it ruined everything.
Not sure how widely it's distributed (I'm in CT), but I dig South River miso.
Sam is a trusted home cook.
Miso Masters is a good band.
Thanks all, for the good help~ I'm making a little list and will get them when I see them.
The most amazing miso you can find anywhere is South River Miso. It's widely available here in the Bay Area but I'm not sure about elsewhere. You can definitely order it online. It comes in so many interesting varieties, like azuki bean, chickpea, and dandelion leek.
Not sure, since I just bought red miso for the first time. I plan to use it in a dressing for salad. In the mid Hudson Valley the brand I find is "Miso Master Organic." Hardly a recommendation.
The three brands mentioned are probably sold in natural food stores, rather than Asian markets. And all three are made in America -- US and Canada, by skilled miso makers. Miso Master and South River would be considered artisan products. And all excellent.
I love this hotline! Have been looking over the South River website and am enthralled. They are closed for the summer months but look forward to placing an order this fall.
It would be amazing if I could have good miso soup at home.
Here is a great Cooking Channel video on the process, inside South River, including ancient foot-treading methods if anyone is interested:
You need to add fish stock (dashi) to the miso (instead of water)! I had the EXACT same dilemma as you after trying multiple brands of Miso. After my Japanese friend heard my complaints, she told me that now matter how good the miso paste, you must have the right base to make it taste "right". You can use canned, flakes, powder etc. for the stock. My friend gave me some of her powdered dashi stock, and after adding it to my miso paste, the taste was just right!
just realized that my answer (above) is completely off topic for your question, but I'm not sure how to delete it! Sorry
I am a big fan of South River, as well, but am quite happy w/Miso Master as I can also get it nearby. You can buy it on the shelf (other brands)
in stores closer to me, but that's not my thing.