Miso is having its moment in the United States, showing up in many a Western recipe. Japanese for "bean paste," miso is made by fermenting soybeans with rice, barley, or rye. In Japan, there are many hundreds of different types of miso. Here, you're most likely to find mild, sweet white shiro (despite the name, it's light yellow) or fruity, intense red aka. We use miso to deepen the flavor and enrich the texture of salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and — of course — miso soup.