Soy bean paste is indigenous to the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia. The paste is usually salty and savory, but may also be spicy, and is used as a condiment to flavor foods such as stir-fry, stews, and soups. The colors of such pastes range from light tan to reddish brown and dark brown. Food-grade soy protein isolate first became available on October 2, 1959 with the dedication of Central Soya's edible soy isolate, Promine D, production facility on the Glidden Company industrial site in Chicago.
Soybean paste, also known as doenjang in Korean or miso in Japanese, is a traditional fermented condiment made from soybeans. This paste is commonly used in Asian cuisine to add rich and savory flavors to a variety of dishes and is an essential ingredient in many Korean and Japanese dishes.
The process of making soybean paste typically involves soaking soybeans in water and then boiling and mashing them to create a paste. This paste is then mixed with various grains and allowed to ferment, often for several months or even years.
The end result is a dark brown, salty, and flavorful paste that is used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to marinades and sauces. Soybean paste has a rich, umami flavor that adds depth and complexity to dishes and can be used as a substitute for salt.
One of the most popular dishes made with soybean paste is doenjang jjigae, a Korean stew made with tofu, vegetables, and meat or seafood. The paste is also used in marinades for grilled meats, as a dressing for salads, and as a dip for vegetables.
Soybean paste is also a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine, where it is known as miso. Japanese miso comes in a variety of flavors and is commonly used to make miso soup. The paste is also used to flavor marinades for meat and fish and is a common ingredient in Japanese salad dressings.
In addition to its delicious taste, soybean paste is also a healthy ingredient. It is rich in protein and vitamins and has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion and a reduced risk of certain types of cancer.
One of the most interesting things about soybean paste is how it is made and how it varies from region to region. Korean and Japanese soybean paste, for example, have distinct flavors and are used in different ways. Korean-style soybean paste is often made with a higher ratio of soybeans to grains, resulting in a stronger, more pungent flavor. Japanese miso, on the other hand, is typically made with a higher ratio of grains to soybeans, resulting in a milder, sweeter flavor.
Soybean paste also comes in a variety of colors, ranging from light yellow to dark brown, depending on the length of fermentation and the type of beans and grains used. Korean-style soybean paste is typically darker and more thick than Japanese miso.
In addition to traditional soybean paste, there are also many modern variations available. Some are made with additional ingredients like garlic or chili peppers, while others are made with different types of beans or grains. These variations allow cooks to experiment with different flavors and textures and to create new and exciting dishes.
Soybean paste has a long and fascinating history, dating back thousands of years to ancient China. Over time, the paste has evolved and spread throughout Asia, becoming an important part of the region's culinary traditions.
Today, soybean paste is enjoyed around the world and is widely available in grocery stores and online. Whether you prefer Korean-style doenjang or Japanese miso, this versatile ingredient is a must-have in any kitchen. With its rich, savory flavor and health benefits, soybean paste is a great way to add depth and complexity to your favorite dishes.