The 5 Best Doenjang Substitutes

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Do you like Korean cuisine? Do you like the taste of doenjang?

Doenjang is a type of fermented bean paste that is used in many Korean dishes. It is composed of soybeans, salt, and water.

Doenjang has a robust and savory flavor and is used as a seasoning or condiment.

It may be made into soup, stew, or rice. Doenjang can also be used as a dip for vegetables or meat.

What are the top five doenjang substitutes? Let us investigate.

What is Doenjang?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Doenjang

Doenjang is a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste that has a deep, rich flavor.

It is made by fermentation of soybeans, brown rice, and salt over several months.

The result is a thick paste that is intense in flavor and has a slightly bitter taste.

Doenjang can be used as a condiment or ingredient in many dishes, such as stews, soups, and marinades.

It’s also a popular dipping sauce for Korean BBQ.

Because of its strong flavor, doenjang is often paired with other ingredients, such as garlic or green onion, to create a more complex flavor profile.

Compared to other soybean pastes, such as miso and otokba, doenjang has a more robust flavor that can be overwhelming if used in excess.

Most importantly, doenjang is a critical ingredient in the iconic Korean dish, kimchi jjigae (Kimchi Stew).

You can find doenjang at most Korean grocery stores or online, so its easy to get your hands on some if you want to try it out.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Doenjang

If you cannot find doenjang at your local grocery store, or if you are looking for a lighter flavor profile, there are several substitutes that can be used in its place.

Here are 5 of the greatest doenjang substitutes:

1 – Sweet Bean Sauce

Sweet bean sauce is a thick, dark brown condiment with a sweet and mildly savory flavor.

Fermented soybeans, sugar, rice wine, and salt are used to make it.

The beans are soaked in water and then boiled until soft.

They are then mashed into a paste and mixed with the other ingredients.

Sweet bean sauce is commonly used in Chinese cuisine, often as a dipping sauce or marinade.

It can also be used to add flavor to stir-fries or noodle dishes.

The sauce should be stored in a cool, dry place and will keep for several months.

2 – Miso Paste

Miso paste is a Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans.

It has a salty, savory flavor that is perfect for adding umami to dishes.

It is often used in soups and stews, as well as in sauces and marinades.

The fermentation process also gives miso paste a slightly tangy taste.

Depending on the type of miso paste, it can also be quite sweet.

The length of the fermentation process determines the final flavor of the paste.

The lightest, sweetest misos are called Shiro miso, while the darkest, most intensely flavored pastes are called hatcho miso.

In between these two extremes, there are myriad flavors to choose from.

So, if you cant find doenjang, miso paste is a great substitute.

3 – Gochujang

Gochujang is a traditional Korean condiment that is made from fermented chili peppers, glutinous rice, and soybeans.

It has a rich, savory flavor with a hint of sweetness and a moderate amount of heat.

The fermentation process also gives gochujang a slightly funky taste that is similar to that of miso or MSG.

Gochujang is typically used as a dipping sauce or marinade, but it can also be used to add flavor to stews and soups.

Because of its popularity in Korean cuisine, gochujang is now widely available in both Asian markets and Western supermarkets.

4 – Doubanjiang

Doubanjiang is a Chinese fermented bean paste that is prized for its unique flavor.

The paste is made from various beans, including soybeans, black beans, and fava beans.

The beans are soaked in water and then fermented with salt and spices.

The resulting paste has a strong salty flavor with hints of acidity and sweetness.

It is often used as a seasoning for stir-fries, noodle dishes, and soups.

Doubanjiang can also be used as a dipping sauce or spread on bread.

The paste is usually fiery red in color, but it can also be found in more muted shades of brown or black.

Regardless of its color, doubanjiang adds depth of flavor to any dish it is added to.

5 – Fermented Black Beans

Black beans that have been fermented have a deep, rich flavor that is perfect for adding depth to any dish.

The fermentation process breaks down the carbohydrates in the beans, making them easier to digest and also giving them a unique flavor.

Fermented black beans are often used in Chinese cooking, as they are an essential ingredient in many traditional dishes.

They can be added to stir-fries, soups, and rice dishes or enjoyed independently.

Because of their strong flavor, fermented black beans should be used sparingly at first.

Once you have found a dish that you enjoy them in, you can then adjust the amount to suit your taste.


In conclusion, doenjang is a Korean fermented soybean paste that imparts a unique umami flavor to dishes.

If you cannot find doenjang at your local store, there are several substitutes that can be used in its place.

These substitutes include miso paste, sweet bean sauce, gochujang, doubanjiang, and fermented black beans.

Each of these substitutes will provide a different flavor profile to your dish, so be sure to choose the one that best suits your taste buds.


What can I use instead of doenjang and Ssamjang?

Ssamjang has a very unique taste that is difficult to replicate. Using simple doenjang may make up for the texture aspect of the sauce. Sambal oelek is a Thai chili garlic paste that has a similar flavor profile to Ssamjang. Another option you can try as a substitute is mixing chili garlic paste with some sesame oil.

Can you replace doenjang with miso?

Can Doenjang and Miso Be Used Together? Doenjang and miso share some characteristics and can therefore be used in place of one another in a pinch, with some important caveats. Doenjang has a much saltier, funkier flavor than miso so should be used in smaller quantities when substituting it for miso.

What can I use instead of fermented bean paste?

If you cannot find fermented red bean curd, or if you do not like the taste, there are several suitable substitutes that you can use. What exactly is this? The best substitute will depend on what you are planning to use the red bean curd for. Some of the most popular substitutes include white miso, yellow miso, and red miso.

What is the Chinese equivalent of doenjang?

Doubanjiang is usually hotter; Doenjang is not. Chinese soy sauce is produced separately from Doubanjiang while Korean soy sauce is a byproduct of Doenjang.

Can you substitute gochujang for doenjang?

The best gochujang substitute is sweet, salty, smoky and umami-packed. So, a good alternative is doenjang, gochugaru (or hot pepper powder) and a pinch of sugar. Use roughly the same volume of chilli powder to doenjang and thin it with water as needed.

Is doenjang the same as gochujang?

Gochujang is a red chili paste used in various Korean food such as ttoekbokki (spicy rice cake), and kimchi jjigae (spicy vegetable soup). Doenjang is a fermented soybean paste also used in a lot of Korean cuisines such as doenjang jjigae (soybean soup). Bibimbap is rice dish mixed with vegetables and gochujang sauce.

Is doenjang the same as doubanjiang?

Doenjang (된장): another Korean soybean paste, doenjang is made from soybean and brine only, and is traditionally made into a brick, known as meju. It is less salty than doubanjiang, and is never spicy, with a flavour that is sometimes compared to Japanese miso.

What is the Korean version of miso paste?

And if you’re a miso fan, too, we’ve got another pantry staple for you delve into: doenjang (pronounced DEN-jahng) the Korean fermented soybean paste that’s like Japanese miso’s pushy-in-a-good-way cousin.

What is a dupe for miso paste?

savoury hit. … Salt. If a recipe just calls for a small amount of miso and has plenty of other ingredients, adding a little salt may be all you need.
Tahini. …
Vegetable Stock. …
Fish Sauce. umami The Best Miso Paste Substitutes
Soy Sauce. If I run out of miso paste, my next go-to is soy sauce because it adds a similar salty

Is hoisin sauce the same as soybean paste?

Now, coming to the question, what is hoisin sauce actually? The sauce is essentially made with the key ingredient – fermented soy bean paste (black bean sauce).

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