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Miso paste may be substituted.

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Miso paste is one of those products that is nearly impossible to replace in Japanese cooking. It is well-known for its distinct taste and strong effect in a variety of dishes, and it is a popular choice for both newcomers and veterans of Asian cuisine. But, if you run out, you may recreate its sparkling impact in your cookery with the correct substitutions. But first, let’s go over what miso paste is all about.

What is Miso Paste?

Miso is a fermentation component in its most basic form. It’s primarily made of soybeans, rice, or both, with a little barley and wheat culture thrown in for good measure. Depending on the location, the beans are sometimes used instead of barley, but the combination is ultimately allowed to ferment for up to 3 years. Miso paste’s savory taste is mostly due to this procedure, hence it is a potent source of umami in many Japanese foods.

Miso paste is a very popular ingredient in Japanese cooking. There are up to 200 versions available. Nevertheless, the white, red, black, and yellow types are the most often utilized. The flavor’s intensity is rated by its color depth, therefore the darker the paste, the greater its umami characteristics. As a result, the white (Shiro) miso has the mildest taste, while the black (Kuro) miso has the strongest. Some types are sometimes created by mixing two pre-existing ones, such as awase miso, which is a blend of both red and white miso paste.

Miso paste originates originating from China. There, it’s known as Djan, and it’s used in practically every dish. When it was first introduced in Japan, its unique taste profile was widely welcomed, and areas started to create larger volumes of the substance. This included fermenting rice, barley, or soybeans and adding a koji microbe to create its primary component, koji. The mold-covered, fermented koji grain is eventually created after a process of decaying and recomposing. Currently, major miso paste-making areas in Japan include Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Nagoya.

Miso Nutrition Facts

Miso Paste in Recipes

Miso paste has a distinct savory taste that is mostly due to its fermented nature. Its umami flavor has been utilized in Japanese cooking for almost a century, making it one of the oldest ingredients in Japanese cuisine. Miso paste is generally added to the cooking process since it loses taste when cooked for an extended period of time. The amount used in a dish also depends on what is being produced, since a little miso paste goes a long way in most circumstances. When it is utilized, salt is frequently left out of such dishes.

Miso paste has such a strong impact on recipes that it is widely utilized in meals such as;

  • Soups
  • Stock
  • Dishes with beef
  • Ramen
  • Miso spread
  • Dressings
  • Sauces
  • Recipes for fish
  • Marinades
  • Potatoes mashed
  • Recipes for stir-fry
  • Dishes with vegetables
  • Dishes with seafood
  • Sauces and condiments
  • Panko
  • Recipes for chicken

Miso Paste Substitutes

If you’ve ever ran out of miso paste, you understand how aggravating it can be. One major reason is that it is a tough item to find, since you almost have to seek an Asian spice shop or already know supermarket stores that sell it. To prevent such stress, just substitute any of these solutions, which will give the same amounts of umami as miso paste in your dish.

Soy Sauce

In virtually every dish, sou sauce is arguably the best and closest substitution for miso paste. Its taste characteristic is comparable to miso paste since it is likewise derived from fermented ingredients. Not only that, but it’s also manufactured from soybeans, so if you’re using the most popular types of miso paste, such as Shiro miso, soy sauce is a wonderful substitute. Because of its virtually fluid character, soy sauce is ideal for watery meals such as soups, marinades, and sauces. Also, because of its dark tint, it is great for dishes where look is unimportant. In any case, equivalent amounts of miso paste may be substituted. Start small and build your way up if you want to be careful.


Tamari, a byproduct of miso paste, is an excellent alternative in a variety of dishes. It has comparable taste qualities as miso paste, giving a significant amount of umami to the dish. It also has a similar viscosity to miso paste, however it is more fluid. Tamari provides a solid body in recipes that call for it, as well as an astounding level of flavor and saltiness. Tamari may be used in place of miso paste in sauces, marinades, soups, and salads. You may either use it in the same amount that the recipe calls for, or if you’re not sure how much it’ll affect the flavor, start with half the amount called for and increase to taste.


Dashi, like miso paste, is a prominent ingredient in Japanese cooking. It’s also one among the most adaptable, since it can be used in anything from ramen to soups, stews, marinades, rice, and sushi. Dashi is a highly liquid drink produced from kombu, a kind of seaweed. This results in a strong savory taste character that provides just the proper amount of umami to practically any dish. When replacing dashi for miso paste, keep in mind its brothy consistency and adjust the liquid quantity accordingly. If the consistency of the dish isn’t a big consideration, dashi is your best bet!

Fish Sauce

You may not always have all of these famous Asian ingredients on hand in your home. In such circumstances, you’ll be grateful for the fish sauce, which also serves as an excellent alternative for miso paste. Fish sauce is nearly as delicious and may deliver the same amount of umami as miso paste. Nevertheless, since fish sauce may be highly salty, it is advisable to start modestly. Nonetheless, it works well in a variety of dishes, particularly fish-based soups and sauces, and adds to the taste profile when employed.


Tahini’s thickness and nuanced taste make it an excellent alternative for miso paste in recipes that call for the color and body of miso paste. It has the color and consistency of miso paste and is made from crushed sesame seeds. Tahini, on the other hand, works best in recipes that call for a little quantity of miso paste, since more of it produces a creamy, nutty flavor rather than the savory, salty flavor that miso paste is known for.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is miso paste high in salt?

It is, indeed. Because of its high salt content, its suggested daily intake limit is 6g. If your diet prohibits you from consuming salt, you should exclude miso paste from your diet entirely.

Does miso paste go bad?

Not for quite some time. Its flavor and consistency may be stored for up to a year. This is because its high salt content keeps it fresh for a long time.

Can miso paste be eaten raw?

Absolutely, it is possible. To underscore, many recipes ask for miso paste to be added towards the conclusion of the cooking process, implying that the uncooked paste is mixed into the food. This is due to the fact that heating alters the nutritional value.


A popular Japanese dish might be ruined if you don’t have miso paste on hand. Yet, with the appropriate substitution, you’ll scarcely notice the absence of this umami-rich component. Fortunately, these substitutes will come close to replicating the saltiness and flavor of miso paste.


What is miso paste made of?

Miso paste, a mainstay of Japanese cuisine, is almost usually produced from fermented soya beans. Its ultra-savory, umami flavor adds a great dimension to a variety of meals.

What does miso paste do in a recipe?

Miso’s greatest power is in imparting a rich umami taste to vegetarian foods, but it also enhances the flavor of meat. A miso glaze or marinade does for chicken wings or a pork chop what tomato sauce does for sausage and meatballs: it provides a savory layer.

Can miso paste replace soy sauce?

Miso paste (7th). Miso paste, like soy sauce, is a fermented ingredient prepared from soybeans, salt, and kji (although there are many varieties made with other grains like barley or rice). It’s salty and savory, much like soy sauce, and may be used as a replacement in a pinch when combined with water.

Can soy bean paste replace miso?

Soybean paste, a fermented bean paste, may be used in place of miso paste in a variety of cuisines. It’s a popular spice in stews, soups, and even dipping sauces. This paste may be used in place of red miso paste, but bear in mind that it is rather salty.

What’s 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.

Where do you find miso paste in grocery stores?

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 the difference between soy paste and miso paste?

Miso paste and soybean paste are not the same thing.

Miso has a somewhat sweeter flavor than soybean paste due to the addition of koji starter. What exactly is this? If you’re gluten-free, check the ingredient list to verify there are no extra grains. Miso Master, the brand displayed above, is both organic and gluten-free.

Is miso paste and broth the same?

Miso soup is a classic Japanese soup flavored with miso paste and made with dashi stock. Dashi, an umami-rich stock prepared from dried seaweed and dried fish, is a popular Japanese dish. Meanwhile, miso paste is a paste produced from soybeans, salt, and koji grains. Tofu and green onions are common ingredients in the brothy soup.

What is special about miso?

Miso is high in nutrition and includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, manganese, zinc, protein, and calcium. Several of these nutrients help to nourish vital systems such as the bones and nervous system. Helps digestion: Miso contains probiotics, which assist the body maintain healthy bacteria levels.

Does miso paste taste like soy sauce?

Finally, miso paste tastes similar to soy sauce but is less salty and flavorful. It has a strong umami flavor and may be used to enhance a variety of recipes. Since miso is so flexible, you may use it in a variety of ways other than soup.

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