Thanks for the fascinating question. I eat macrobiotically, and have
been using miso in my cooking on a regualr basis for almost 15 years.
Asking which type of miso is most commonly served in Japanese
restaurants is a little like asking which type of spice is most
commonly used in French restaurants - the truth is that different
types of miso are used for different types of cooking. I'm also sure
that individual chefs also have their own preferences.
However, I was able to find some interesting information that might
help you select an appropriate miso (or misos):
The following page lists the four most common types of miso but also
lists (at the bottom of each description) what they are most commonly
So, depending on which type of Japanese dish you are trying to mimic,
you can choose the appropriate seasoning.
The following page has some interesting statistics on which miso is
most commonly purchased:
Miso Is a Versatile Condiment
Quote: "In the U.S., the major type of miso is the white kind of rice
miso made in Nagano....White miso outsells red miso by 4 to 1 in Japan
and the U.S., while prices are usually the same....Incidentally, why
do some Japanese chefs blend white miso and red miso? They must be
aware that red miso is more flavorful, while their customers prefer
miso soup of light color. So, they compromise in the middle."
Note: Article starts halfway down the page.
So, if you are thinking of the type of light miso soup (broth) that
you find at most Japanese restaurants - odds are that they've used
white miso made from rice.
Macrobiotics tends to use several miso types, but the staple is barley miso.
Search Strategy (on Google):
* miso restaurants
* miso "used in Japanese"
* "barley miso" common "Japanese restaurants"
* miso commonly "Japanese restaurants"
I hope this helps!