Miso is a Japanese flavoring and ingredient. It is sometimes called fermented soybean paste, though in fact it can be made from barley and from rice as well as from soybeans. It is rooted in the same tradition of fermenting soybeans to preserve their food value as the Shan fermented soybeans are. A number of the Shan recipes in this book call for fermented soybeans or for Soybean Disks. Miso paste—which has the advantage of being readily available in supermarkets and health food stores—is given as a substitute, for those who do not have access to fermented soybeans or the inclination to prepare them.
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