Is miso soup vegetarian if not why

Miso: Asian spice paste with a lot of power

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Soup with miso Image: Stacy, flickr.com (arr.) Image title: miso soup with soba, CC-BY

Miso is a seasoning paste that is widely used in Japan and other countries in Asia. The light or dark brown miso consists of soybeans that are fermented with a noble mold called "Kōji" (also known as Aspergillus oryzae). Depending on the variety, barley, rice or lupins are also used. Miso is salted with sea salt and, depending on the variety, also contains other ingredients such as B. Seaweed. Depending on the recipe, miso can be mild or very salty.

Like most naturally fermented foods, miso is high in nutrients and vitamins.

  • It is rich in vegetable protein and calcium.
  • It contains vitamin B2 and vitamin E in significant quantities. It also contains vitamin B12 (see note).
  • In addition, naturally fermented miso is rich in enzymes.
Miso for the supply of vitamin B12?
Even if miso is mentioned again and again as a natural source of vitamin B12, according to the current state of knowledge, one should not rely solely on it for the vitamin supply, since the form it contains is probably not usable for the human body. More on this: Supply with vitamin B12

Miso has a niche existence in Germany

In Germany, miso tends to eke out a niche existence. The seasoning paste - in addition to its classic use in Asian soups - is, contrary to tradition, also good for seasoning stews and casseroles. Mild miso is even suitable as a spread on bread. The glutamate naturally contained in miso creates an “umami” taste that acts like a natural flavor enhancer. "Umami" is the spicy taste that occurs in many natural products (e.g. in soy sauce, tempeh, yeast flakes or tomatoes).


The original recipe for Miso is vegan, i.e. purely plant-based. Fermentation of food is actually one of the healthiest ways to process and preserve food. Since the processing of miso can differ significantly, as a vegan you should pay attention to the list of ingredients when buying miso. Conventional miso may have been made from genetically modified soybeans. If you want to be on the safe side and also want to protect the environment, buy organic products.
Danger: Even if miso itself is mostly vegan, that doesn't always apply to miso soups! Meat (including fish) is often added here as a side dish.

Miso from "regional" production in Germany

Miso is also available from the Black Forest Image: K / Vegpool

In the meantime, there is even miso from German production - from the Black Forest. The Black Forest miso is handcrafted by the owner Peter Koch. Depending on the variety, the ingredients mature for between 1-2 years and have enough time to develop flavors and nutrients.

The miso varieties from the Black Forest taste much milder than classic miso from the Asia shop. A mild taste of miso is often a sign of quality that indicates that the filling quantity has not been stretched with cheap sea salt.

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Author: Kilian Thirty