Originally Posted by jpinmaryland
what exactly is miso? They use it a lot on iron chef. is it like a bean paste? If so what flavor?
Miso is fermented soybean paste. Soybeans, salt, harmless mold and often a grain like rice are mixed up and allowed to ferment for a long time.
Miso paste is a savory condiment used in Japanese, Korean and other cusines. It does taste quite different than Chinesebean paste, I assume because of the way it's made.
Americans are often familiar with miso soup (miso paste, plus seaweed, plus bonito (fish) made into a broth) and/or miso salad dressing.
There are different varieties which depend on the ingredients and how long they are fermented. White miso, for example, is very mild and savory and makes a great soup or salad dressing base. You can find it in most "natural" or "whole" foods markets. The darker the miso, the stronger the flavor.