What Is Hatcho Miso and How Is It Used?

What Is Hatcho Miso?

Hatcho miso (八丁味噌) is representative “soybean miso”. “Soybean miso” means using soybean koji instead of rice koji or barley koji in the cooking process.
Basically soy bean miso is made from only soybean, salt, and water.
(Please check out my past post Miso Taste Test to know how miso is made).

Hatcho miso
Hatcho Miso

Although there are several kinds (brands) of soybean miso in Japan, Hatcho miso is made in the specific area called “Hatcho cho, Okazaki city” located in Aichi prefecture.

The color of Hatcho miso is extremely dark brown. The taste is a little bit saltier than other kind, and it’s not sweet at all.
However has great Umami (旨味) and Koku (コク). I would say it’s full-bodied, and you might feel it’s a little bitter.


Is Hatcho Miso Red Miso?

Yes, Hatcho miso is one of red miso if you divide miso according to its color.
Although it could be classified as red miso, Hatcho miso has many different characters from typical red miso.

[Hatcho Miso]
● Raw materials: Soybean koji (soybean covered by koji mold), salt, and water
● Aging period: 1 to 3 years
● Taste: Salty, strong taste, not sweet, and a liitle bitter

[Typical Red Miso]
● Raw materials: Soybean, rice koji (malted rice), salt, and water
● Aging period: 3 months to 1 year
● Taste: It depends on aging time, the amount of koji and salt. Could be sweet, could be salty.

Maruya Hatcho Miso

What Are Benefits of Hatcho Miso?

Because of the long aging time and high proportion of soybean, Hatcho miso is having abundant nutrients in the process of fermentation.
It is said that vitamins in the miso and isoflavones contained in soybean has excellent anti-oxidative effect and anti-aging effect.
Also, people say that dietary fibers in Hatcho miso can relieve constipation, and help liver function.


How Is Hatcho Miso Used?

Aichi prefecture is the main production area for soybean miso including Hatcho miso, and there are many delicious local foods with it.
Miso-nikomi Udon (udon cooked in a broth containing miso paste) and Miso Katsu (Japanese pork cutlet with miso sauce) are especially popular as Aichi’s local foods.

By the way, it is said that soybean miso such as Hatcho miso is suited for simmering dishes because its flavor doesn’t go away even if it’s heated long time.

I would like to introduce 5 recipes below that you can enjoy Hatcho miso at home.

  1. Miso Katsu
  2. Hatcho Miso Potato
  3. Hatcho Miso Dressing
  4. Miso Honey Butter Toast
  5. Hatcho Miso Soup

【Miso Katsu Recipe】

Ingredients (2 servings)
For Miso sauce
● 2 oz (54g) Hatcho miso paste
● 2 tablespoons sugar
● 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet sake)
● 1 tablespoon sake (white wine)
● 1 tablespoon honey
● 1 teaspoon dashi (stock) granules
● 2 tablespoons water

For Tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet)
8 oz (230g) pork loin
1 oz (28g) flour
1 oz (28g) bread crumbs
1 egg
A pinch of salt & pepper
Vegetable oil

Directions

1. Before making tonkatsu, prepare miso sauce. Mix all of ● seasonings in a pot, and stir well on low heat. It’s done when it boils a little.

2. Cut the muscle of meat. Do this on both sides. (By doing this, the meat won’t shrink when it’s deep-fried.)

3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of pork.

4. Coat both sides in flour. Next, coat it in beaten egg as well.

5. Coat the meat with bread crumbs.

6. Prepare well heated vegetable oil in a pot. Put tiny piece of bread crumbs in oil and see if it’s ready or not. If it floats right after that, it’s ready.
Put the pork in it. Deep-fry both sides for 3 min each. (6 min in total.)*
* You can do it on middle heat at first, but after 1 min reduce the heat to low otherwise it’s going to burn.

7. After you take out the pork from the pot, please leave the pork for 2-3 min without cutting so that the pork will be completely cooked by remaining heat. Finally dish up and put miso sauce as much as you want.

Miso Katsu

Ready to eat!


Hatcho Miso Potato Recipe】

Ingredients (2 servings)
9 oz (250g) potato
● 1 tablespoon hatcho miso paste
● 1 tablespoon sake (white wine)
● 1 tablespoon sugar
● 2 teaspoons honey
● 1 teaspoon soy sauce
● 1 teaspoon butter
● 1 teaspoon dashi (stock) granules
● 1 tablespoon water

For toppings
minced green onions
white sesame

Directions

1. Peel the skin of potato and remove potato eyes. Then cut into bite-sized.

2. Microwave for 4-5 min at 500W.*
* Since this variety of potato I use today is very soft one, so I don’t really need long cooking time. If your potato is still hard after microwave, please stir-fry for a while (or microwave more) until it’s fully cooked.

3. Put all of ● seasonings in a pot or frying pan, stir well on very low heat until it boils a little.

4. Turn off the heat, and put potato. Then coat potato with the sauce well.
Turn on the heat again, let them boil a little bit.
Finally dish up and sprinkle minced green onion and white sesame to your liking.

Hatcho Miso Potato
Hatcho Miso Potato

Ready to eat!


【Salad with Hatcho Miso Dressing Recipe】

Ingredients (1 serving)
Your favorite vegetables, nuts, and protein
● 1 teaspoon hatcho miso paste
● 1 teaspoon honey
● 1 teaspoon sugar
● 1 teaspoon vinegar
● 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
● 1 teaspoon lemon juice
● 1 teaspoon white sesame
● A pinch of salt & pepper

Directions

1. Wash vegetables well, and make salad.

2. Mix all of ● seasonings in a bowl. Stir well.

3. Pour the dressing on the salad.

Salad with Hatcho Miso Dressing

Ready to eat!


【Miso Honey Butter Toast Recipe】

Ingredients (1 serving)
Your favorite bread
1.5 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon hatcho miso paste
1 teaspoon honey

Directions

1. Melt butter in microwave. (I did 15 seconds at 500W.)
Do not warm up too much.

2. Mix the butter with Hatcho miso and honey. Stir well.

3. Put the miso sauce on bread.

4. Toast bread in the toaster. It’s very tasty only itself, but if you like cheese, please put it before toasting. Then sprinkle minced green onino before eating.

Miso Honey Butter Toast
Miso Honey Butter Toast

Ready to eat!


【Hatcho Miso Soup Recipe】

Ingredients (2 servings)
1 oz Hatcho miso (fermented soybean paste)*1
1 teaspoon dashi granules*2
3.5 oz tofu
1/2 teaspoons dried wakame (a type of seaweed)
1.7 cups (400ml) water
(Prepare extra water to reconstitute dried wakame)

*1 Feel free to adjust the amount of miso to your liking.
*2 If your miso already contains dashi, don’t need dashi granules.

Directions

1. Combine dried wakame with boiled water and wait until reconstituted. (takes about 1 min)

2. Drain in a sieve and wash with cold water lightly.

3. Boil water for miso soup.

4. Add tofu, wakame, and dashi granules. Simmer for 3 min. Then remove from heat.

5. Add miso paste and stir until miso is completely melted.

HATCHO miso soup
HATCHO miso soup

Ready to eat!

Actually I needed to complete this Hatcho miso soup recipe for my tasting project of five different kinds of miso. You can check it out here: Miso Taste Test

So let me share my thoughts on Hatcho miso soup here, then please check out comments on each one of them too.

As compared with other miso soup, the taste of Hatcho miso soup is absolutely different from the one made with rice koji or barley koji.
It’s not sweet but has great flavor of soybean. The taste may be explained as light, refreshing, and little bitter… it’s very difficult to explain but I can tell it’s GENUINE style of Japanese miso soup. It reminds me of miso soup provided in Japanese ryokan breakfast.

Enjoy your miso soup!