Miso, a fermented medicinal food with a rich history, makes an ideal addition to any bone broth or soup recipe!
Miso is an ancient food dating as far back as 800 BC. Miso involves a unique double fermentation process using soybeans and grains. According to the book Japanese Foods That Heal, miso offers numerous health benefits – including radiation protection.
During the 60’s, students of macrobiotics and Zen began hearing about Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki, director of Saint Francis Hospital in Nagasaki during the second World War. Although Akizuki spent years treating atomic bomb victims just a few miles from ground zero, neither he nor his staff suffered from the usual effects of radiation. Akizuki hypothesized that he and his associates were protected from the deadly radiation because they drank miso soup every day.
Akizuki’s theory was supported in 1989 by evidence demonstrating the protection miso offers to those exposed to radiation. Professor Akihiro Ito, at Hiroshima University’s Atomic Radioactivity Medical Lab, read reports of European countries importing truckloads of miso from Japan after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Ito reasoned that if people were protected from radiation by miso, then rats that were fed miso and radiated should develop less cancer than radiated rats that were not fed miso. Professor Ito was not surprised to find that the liver cancer rate for rats that were not fed miso was 100 to 200 percent higher than that of rats that were fed miso. Ito also reported that rats that were fed miso had much less inflammation of organs caused by radioactivity.
(Miso is not the only food that helps protect against radiation. See 7 Anti-Radiation Foods.)
The best news about miso is that it’s easy to add into your daily food regimen. If you’re a bone broth enthusiast, you’ll love the taste and texture of miso when added to your favorite broth.
How to Make Miso Soup
* You can pour the eggs all at once and let them poach, or you can add them in a steady stream while stirring. This produces thin strands that look something like egg drop soup.
(New to making bone broth? See How to Make Bone Broth and Where to Buy It.)
Craig Fear offers the following variations for this basic recipe. Add these three-ingredient combinations to any miso and broth:
- Shrimp, bok choy, and Sriracha
- Fish, mushrooms, and napa cabbage
- Chicken, rice, leftover carrots, and/or broccoli
- Pork, scallions, spinach
- Beef, string beans, parsley
Where to Find Miso
You’ll find several types of miso, including traditional (often dark in color), mellow (lighter in color) and sweet. Generally speaking, the darker the color, the longer it’s been fermented and the stronger it will taste. I prefer the darker, more traditional flavor in soup. Choose miso made from rice as opposed to barley if you are concerned about gluten. (Although I am gluten intolerant and do fine with all miso.)
Look for non-GMO, organic miso in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. My favorite online source is South River Miso.