Miso, also called bean paste, is a Japanese condiment made from fermented soy beans, rice or barley and salt. Miso can aged from a few months to 3 years.
There are various regional versions of miso generally classified as white (shiro) miso and red (aka) miso. Shiro miso is sweeter, while aka miso is saltier.
Miso is generally used in soups, sauces, vegetable and fish marinades, dips and dressings. It is rich in protein and B vitamins, but is also high in sodium. There are some low salt varieties of miso available.