The 5 Best Miso Paste Substitutes

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Have you ever wondered what makes Japanese food so distinct? So let’s get this party started.

If you’ve ever eaten miso soup, you’ve tasted one of the major ingredients: miso paste.

Miso paste is created from fermented soybeans and is used in a variety of cuisines, including soups and stews, as well as sauces and marinades.

It’s also wonderful for enhancing the umami taste of vegetarian and vegan recipes.

If you’re new to using miso paste in your cooking, this article will teach you all you need to know, from how to use it to the best miso paste substitutions.

What is Miso Paste?

Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste used in Japanese cuisine.

It has a salty, savory taste and is suitable for use in soups, stews, marinades, and sauces.

Miso paste is made by fermenting soybeans with a koji starting culture for many months.

The end result is a thick, nutrient-dense paste rich in enzymes and beneficial microorganisms.

Miso paste is available in most Asian shops and online.

When purchasing for miso paste, go for sweet or mild varieties, since they will have a more mellow taste.

Darker-colored pastes are often saltier and more flavorful.

Miso paste may be kept in the refrigerator for up to six months.

To use miso paste, mix it into the desired food to taste.

You may, for example, add a teaspoon of miso paste to soup or stir-fry meals.

Miso paste may also be used as a meat or vegetable marinade.

When using miso paste in dishes, be sure to add it at the end to prevent the helpful enzymes from being destroyed by heat.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Miso Paste

If you don’t have miso paste on hand, there are a few appropriate replacements that will suffice.

These are the top five miso paste substitutes:

1 – Soy Sauce

Although most people identify soy sauce with Asian cuisine, this versatile condiment may be used in a variety of recipes.

Soy sauce is prepared by fermenting soybeans, wheat, and salt, and it has a salty, umami flavor that complements a variety of meals.

One of the most basic use for soy sauce is as a dipping sauce for sushi or sashimi.

Just drizzle a few drops over your plate to enhance the taste of your favorite raw fish recipes.

Soy sauce may also be used to marinate meats and vegetables.

Combine equal amounts soy sauce, rice vinegar, and vegetable oil in a mixing bowl, and then soak your meal in the mixture for at least 30 minutes.

The end product will be a flavor-packed meal.

Lastly, soy sauce may be used to season soups or stir-fries.

Only a drop of soy sauce before serving will shock you at how much it improves the taste of your food.

2 – Tahini

You’re in for a treat if you’ve never tasted tahini.

This wonderful sesame seed paste is often used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

Tahini may be used in a variety of ways, including as a dip, spread, or as a component in recipes.

It’s also high in good fats, protein, and minerals like calcium and iron.

One of the most common use for tahini is as a dip for veggies or pita bread.

It’s also popular as a spread in sandwiches and wraps.

For a simple and tasty way to consume tahini, combine it with lemon juice and garlic to make a savory dressing or dipping sauce.

Tahini may also be used to add smoothness and flavor to soups and stews.

If you’re feeling daring, use it in sweet dishes like cookies, cakes, or icing.

Tahini is a wonderful and versatile ingredient that you will undoubtedly like.

3 – Fish Sauce

It’s easy to understand why fish sauce is a mainstay of Thai cuisine.

A little of this flavorful, salty sauce goes a long way in adding depth of flavor to any meal.

Fish sauce may assist to improve the taste of your dish whether stir-frying veggies or preparing a curry.

Fish sauce isn’t only for Thai cuisine; it can be used in any Asian meal.

If you’re not sure how to utilize fish sauce, here are a few pointers.

To avoid overpowering the other tastes, fish sauce is usually added towards the conclusion of the cooking process.

Begin with a little quantity and gradually increase to taste.

Fish sauce complements acidic components such as lime juice or vinegar, so try a dab of either to liven up your meal.

While cooking using fish sauce, be careful to season with salt and pepper to balance the tastes.

With these guidelines in mind, feel free to experiment with fish sauce in your cuisine.

You’ll be astonished at how flexible this seemingly little item can be.

4 – Soybean Paste

Soybean paste is an adaptable component that may be utilized in a wide range of cuisines.

It may be used as a marinade for chicken or beef, or it can be used to soups and stews to enhance flavor.

It may also be used as a dipping sauce or as a sandwich spread.

Soybean paste is a salty, umami-flavored paste prepared from fermented soybeans.

It comes in both red and white kinds.

Although red soybean paste is more typically used in Korean cooking, white soybean paste may be substituted.

Look for products that do not include preservatives or artificial flavors when purchasing soybean paste.

For optimal results, keep soybean paste refrigerated after opening and use it within six months.

5 – Tamari

Tamari is a sort of soy sauce native to Japan.

It has a deep, black, and umami-rich taste and is prepared from soybeans, water, and salt.

Tamari may be used in a variety of ways, but it works especially well in marinades, stir-fries, and dipping sauces.

To include tamari into a marinade:

  • It may be used with other ingredients such as ginger, garlic, honey, and sesame oil.
  • To prevent stir-fries from being excessively salty, add tamari at the end of cooking.
  • Tamari may be used as a dipping sauce for sushi or dumplings.

Tamari is a terrific addition to any kitchen cupboard because of its diverse taste and easy-to-use packaging.


Finally, there are a few wonderful miso paste replacements that may be utilized in a hurry.

Tamari, soy sauce, fish sauce, tahini, and soybean paste are some of the replacements.

Each of these alternatives will provide a distinct taste to your meal, so choose the one that best meets your requirements.

Tamari sauce is your best choice if you want something that tastes and feels like miso paste.

Soy sauce or fish sauce are great alternatives if you want something less salty.

Finally, if you need a gluten-free replacement, tahini or soybean paste are your best choice.


What can I use instead of miso paste?

What is the best miso paste substitute?

What is the best miso substitute? Soy sauce. In a pinch, soy sauce may stand in for the salty and savory taste of miso. Keep in mind, however, that miso paste has a creamy texture, while soy sauce is extremely thin, nearly like water.

What is the same as miso?

The soy sauce

Soy sauce is a common miso paste substitute because it has a similar taste profile to miso. Certain miso paste variations may be a better fit for it than others.

What is the secret ingredient in miso paste?

The secret component is Aspergillus oryzae, a grain-loving fungus that appears like a delicate flower on a stalk under the microscope. Miso paste, a mainstay of Japanese cuisine, is made by fermenting soybeans, grain, and salt.

What kind of miso paste do Japanese restaurants use?

Red miso, also known as ‘aka miso’ in Japanese, is fermented for a longer period of time than white and yellow miso, giving it a more powerful taste. It also has a larger amount of soybeans than other types of miso. Red miso is often used in the preparation of miso soup, particularly in Japanese restaurants.

What does miso paste taste like?

What Is the Taste of Miso? Miso has a strong umami flavor—the thick paste has a toasted, stinky salty-sweet richness. Its umami taste serves as the foundation for much of regular Japanese cookery.

What can I use instead of miso paste in kimchi?

4 cup fish sauce or 2 teaspoons brined small shrimp (jarred). Replace the miso paste with 1 teaspoon of sugar for a more classic kimchi.

What flavor is similar to miso?

Aminos from Coconut

Both are salty and include a lot of the same free-forming amino acids (which give miso its umami taste). Blend a few teaspoons of tamari or coconut aminos with a can of cooked chickpeas for a quick miso alternative. Season with more sea salt if desired. Tamari

Can I buy miso in the grocery store?

Miso paste is most often available in the refrigerated department of your grocery store, near tofu. If there is a refrigerated section, it may also be found in the produce section. Miso paste comes in a variety of flavors. Most miso pastes must be stored in the refrigerator.

What is miso called in English?

In Japanese, soybean paste.

Can you make miso paste at home?

Creating your own homemade miso from scratch is enjoyable and simple. It simply needs a few ingredients and a little time to mature (approximately 6 months). But, if you are impatient like me, you may begin using it after three months. That is well worth your time and work!

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