10 Best Miso Substitutes [Updated]

A recipe requires miso but you don’t have. You can use this list of miso substitutes.  

Miso paste is a Japanese fermented soybean paste with a savory flavor. It is known for its strong savory flavor, also known as umami. It is often used in Japanese dishes such as miso ramen or miso salmon.

Miso can be found in the international foods aisle, near the Japanese ingredients. There are many types of miso, and each one tastes different. There are many types of miso: yellow miso (white miso), red miso (red miso), dark miso (or brown miso) and others. Miso is a very special ingredient. You should look for it if you can.

What is Miso?

Miso is a paste of soybeans, which has been boiled and crushed. It can also be mixed with a culture of wheat, rice or barley. The mixture can ferment for up to three years. This paste can be used in soups, ramen and sauces as well as marinades and dressings.

There are approximately 200 types of miso paste. The most popular are the red, yellow and white varieties. The stronger the flavor, the darker the paste. Another popular paste is called awase, which is a mixture of red and white paste.

Miso Substitutes

Health Benefits of Miso 

Miso is rich in minerals and a good source of vitamin E, K, as well as folic acid. It is made by fermentation and is full of beneficial bacteria, which is good for our gut health and helps us to stay well. Miso is usually high in salt. The Asian market sells low sodium miso. You can find low sodium options at the Asian market by reading the nutrition information.

Miso Substitute

1. Tahini

Tahini is a paste of ground sesame seed. It is a paste made from ground sesame seeds that looks similar to miso paste. Tahini is not recommended for recipes that use large amounts of miso. The flavor profile of tahini is more creamy and nutty than the salty/savory taste of miso.

2. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is the best choice when you need to replace white miso. Soy sauce is a fermented product with a similar flavor profile. Because it is made from soybean fermentation, it has a similar flavor profile. Soy sauce can be used as a substitute for white miso. This is because it has a similar nutritional profile.

Soy sauce will have a salty taste and an umami flavor. Soy sauce is vegan-friendly and doesn’t contain any animal products. It can be more watery than miso (miso being the paste). White miso can be replaced with soy sauce in soups and dressings. Soy sauce is dark in color and will affect the dish’s color.

3.  Fish Sauce

It is said that fish sauce is not mentioned when talking about versatile condiments. Because of its salty taste, fish sauce is a popular condiment in Southeast Asia. It can also be used as a substitute for red miso.

Fish sauce is made by fermenting fish over a prolonged period of time, as the name implies. Fish sauce has a rich, salty, tangy and oceanic flavor. This red miso substitute is similar to soy sauce and has a dark brown color. It also has a thin texture that blends well with soups and sauces.

The umami flavor can be used in stir-fry, marinades and soups that call for red miso. To achieve a perfect result, you can substitute one tablespoon of red miso for half a teaspoon of fish sauce.

4. Tamari

Tamari is a great alternative to soy sauce. Tamari, which is actually miso’s byproduct, can be used to replicate the flavor. Tamari will have the same umami taste and saltiness as white miso. Although it looks similar to soy sauce, the consistency of tamari will be thicker and denser (it isn’t even as salty).

Tamari, for example, has a thick consistency which makes it a more suitable substitute for white miso (it won’t be too watery). Although it is still liquid, some dishes will be better with it. Tamari can be substituted for white miso in marinades or salad dressings.

5. Dashi

Dashi, another Japanese ingredient, can be substituted for miso paste. It can be used in many dishes to add umami flavor so it can be substituted for miso paste in many recipes.

Dashi, which is made of pale broth and kombu, is common in Japanese cuisine. Because it is not like miso paste, it’s great for savory dishes that require more liquid.

6. Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock can be substituted for miso paste to get the same taste and benefits. The vegetable stock paste is made with vegetables, herbs and umami seasonings. The flavors can be varied depending on what you want.

We love vegetable stock because you can adjust the umami seasoning to match miso paste. The thickness of the paste can be adjusted depending on what recipe you are making. Because of the flavor, it contains, a vegetable stock paste is great. The broth is made from all the vegetables. Any soup can use all the nutrients and flavorings of the herbs.

7. Soybeans Paste

Another paste you can use in place of miso paste is this one. It is primarily used to season soups, stews, or other dipping sauces. It is also made from fermented bean paste, which is very similar to miso paste. It is very salty so you should use less. You can always add more if necessary.

The main difference between miso paste and soybean paste lies in the colors. You can use it in many recipes, but be aware of the saltiness.

8. Sesame paste

The strong influence of Chinese cuisine has influenced Japanese cuisine. When cooking, I can substitute Japanese ingredients with Chinese condiments. Chinese sesame paste is a possible substitute for soybean paste and miso paste.

9. Mentsuyu

Mentsuyu, a Japanese seasoning, is mainly used to make noodle soup bases. Noodles can be made from udon, soba or somen. It is a mix of dashi (made with dried bonito, dried small Sardines or kelp), soy sauce, mirin, sugar and mirin. Similar seasonings are called Hontsuyu and Kombutsuyu.

Mentsuyu is a complex flavor that’s more than just soy sauce. It has umami, mirin, sugar and koku from stock, mirin and sugar. This makes it a great alternative to miso. It can be used for soup, as well as for stir-fried dishes, stews, and salad.

10. Chinese Fermented Black Beans

Douchi is another Chinese condiment that can be used as a substitute for miso in many recipes. Douchi is fermented using black beans rather than soybeans. The difference in bean types is not an issue as the unique flavor of the beans is overpowered by the saltiness once fermented.

This condiment is well-known for its unique, sweet and salty flavor. It can be used in place of red miso paste to make savory dishes like marinades, mayo, and stir-fries. Black beans are hardier than soybeans, which are used to season sauces and other dishes.

The Bottom Line

This article contains miso substitutes that will work in most recipes that require miso. Hope that you have useful information after reading this post. 

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