Tokyo Edo Miso is making a modern comeback

During the Edo period, Edo miso was deeply cherished by the general public, but Meiji period brought a gradual decline, ending in a complete ban on its production during the war. Seventy years later, an accidentally discovered old document helped Edo miso gain ground again, after research and trial production. Read this article to learn more about Edo miso, how it sprang back to life again and where to buy it.

What is Edo Miso

With a history dating back to the Edo period, Edo Miso was known as one of the five major types of Japanese miso, along with white miso, Sendai miso, inaka (‘country’) miso, and Hatcho miso, commonly consumed by the Edo people.

At that time, Edo was one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The production of miso, which was at the center of the Japanese diet, could not keep up with the long fermentation process, leading to the discovery of miso that was unique to Edo times. Edo miso is characterized by its short fermentation period of 10 days to two weeks. Having the same amount of rice, soybeans and low salt content, it had its fermentation period shortened, with delivery possible fresh and fast. You may think that insufficient fermentation will lead to low-quality and non-tasty miso. However, Edo miso was neither unmature nor low-quality. Since a lot of rice malt was used to speed up the fermentation process, it possessed a superb taste.

However, since the middle of the Meiji period, it was classed as a luxury food, leading to a ban on its production during the war. Edo miso has completely disappeared from this world!

Edo Miso makes a comeback

After the war, Edo miso has been completely erased from people’s memories. We spoke with Mr. Kawamura of Tokyo Edo Miso, the company that discovered and revived Edo miso.

After discovering pre-war materials on Edo miso, Mr. Kawamura read them and decided that Edo miso, which was an essential component of Edo-style dishes, should get a second chance. Reviving Edo miso has become his mission.

He opened the Tokyo Edo Miso Hiroo in Hiroo, Tokyo, where he continues to spread the word about Edo miso.
During the Edo period, when there was no refrigerator, people used to go out and buy miso for the day.

Keeping this idea in mind, Hiroo has established an Edo miso store in a shopping district, sharing the vibes of people’s daily lifestyles.

Edo Miso goes well with any dish

The longer a miso is fermented, the stronger its smell and texture becomes. Of course, it is still very tasty! On the other hand, since miso is limited to Japanese cuisine, it gradually loses its versatility in today’s westernized and diversified Japanese diet.

Compared to long-fermented miso, Edo miso has less miso smell, but the taste that greets you once it's in your mouth is a sweet and refreshing one. It makes possible to use Edo miso in a wide range of dishes and extremely easy to use in today's diverse, Japanese-Western mixed cuisine.

Edo miso works very well when mixed with basil, coriander, and tuna for dips, added to braised pork ribs, and can be used in multiple dishes, not just Japanese food.

It can also be used to make tsuyu (soup) like this one, which is surprisingly made from miso!

The store sells four types of miso, cherished in the city of Edo, in 100g units. You can choose Edo miso, Edo sweet miso, Sendai miso, and inaka miso, with a different percentage of malt, salt, and fermentation period. Taste it and pick up your favorite!

The stylish packaging doesn’t look like it contains malted rice, and makes a perfect souvenir.

If you can't afford to buy miso, we have a great suggestion for you.

This poripori snack is made from peanuts and seasoned with Edo sweet miso. There are many flavors such as plain, nori salt, black pepper, caramel and green tea, etc. (the choice may differ depending on the season). You can also sample it at the store.

Japanese miso has an image of traditional style miso, but stylish Tokyo miso shop packaging makes Edo miso products more appealing. You can buy amazing gifts and sweet snacks. The salty series has a simple but addictive taste that goes well with alcohol drinks.

Finally

Among fermented foods, the freshness of Edo miso is its main selling point. You can also buy amazake drinks made from rice malt, which is used in the process of making miso.

It's old, but new, and many Japanese have yet to experience the Tokyo miso.

Access: 6 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Hiroo Station .

Official HP: https://www.edomiso.jp/