Miso is produced by fermenting soy beans with koji (fungus Aspergillus oryzae) and salt to produce a thick flavorful paste. In Japanese cooking Sa-Shi-Su-Se-So represent the essential seasonings of sugar, salt, vinegar, soy sauce and miso. This is also the order the seasonings are used with miso being added last to prevent it from being boiled, and preserving its considerable digestive properties, aroma, and rich umami flavor. Miso soup is the number one comfort food of the Japanese people and has been an integral part of their diet for over 500 years. Every meal of sushi should be completed with a satisfying bowl of miso soup!