Miso paste is a traditional paste that’s usually used in Japanese cuisine and plays an important role in most of their recipes. Made of fermented soybeans mixed all together with salt and koji, this paste is delicious and versatile.
You can also add rice, rye, or other types of grain to make it even tastier. This paste is so unique that its taste is very nice and to get there the mixture is left to ferment for a couple of months or even years. The longer it stays, the paste turns darker and develops a more complex flavor.
Just by adding a tablespoon to a recipe, you’ll add savory tones to the dish. There are a few types of miso like white, red and mixed which can be also found and made at home. However, what if you don’t have access or simply you want to use something else, is there another way?
The best substitutes for miso paste are Soy sauce, Tamari, Tahini paste, Dashi, Vegetable stock, Fish sauce, and Soybeans paste.
Also, use some other different ingredients that are not very similar to miso paste-like Chickpeas, Adzuki beans, and Salt. Go through the article and find out more about each substitute.
Miso Paste Substitute
Like any other ingredient, miso paste can also be replaced. Even though it can be hard to find a suitable substitute, we have a list of products that might help you with your recipes and provide you a similar taste that is close enough to the miso paste.
1. Soy sauce
The first product that is very common and easily found in soy sauce. Just like miso paste, soy sauce is made from fermented products which makes it very similar. They even have very similar nutrients and the flavor is almost the same.
Actually, soy sauce can resemble the same kick that miso offers. It has a very similar salty umami and savory traces that miso paste has.
It’s animal-free which means you can use them as an ingredient in many vegan dishes. Use soy sauce in soups, dressings, or any other recipes that require miso paste.
This is another product that has a very similar profile as miso paste. They have many things in common. By adding Tamari to your dish, you’ll be able to provide a similar flavor as using miso paste, like the saltiness and the umami taste.
It is very similar to soy sauce as well, which makes all of the three products a good substitute for each other. They have a similar texture. Tamari will do the job well in any recipe that requires miso paste. You can use it to make marinades or any other recipe.
3. Tahini paste
Tahini is a type of paste that is made out of ground sesame seeds. It has a similar consistency as the miso paste and it can be used in many recipes as a replacement.
Actually, the difference is in the taste and tahini has a more nutty and creamy flavor so don’t use it if the recipes call for a large amount of miso paste. Otherwise, you won’t get the taste that you aim for. You can use it to make many other recipes.
Dashi is another Japanese ingredient that can be used as a replacement for miso paste. It is used in many dishes to give an umami taste so that it will serve as a good replacement for miso paste in many recipes.
Made of pale broth with kombu, Dashi is common n Japanese recipes. It’s ideal for savory dishes that can handle more liquid since its texture is not like the miso paste.
5. Vegetable stock
A very useful ingredient that can serve as a great substitute especially for soups is the vegetable stock. it has a light color and will add tastiness to your soups, however, when making miso paste soup, add other ingredients and herbs to achieve the original flavor.
6. Fish sauce
Fish sauce is present in local markets and can be used as a substitute for miso paste. When you use it in recipes it will add a very similar taste as the miso paste.
It has a salty, umami, and savory taste but contains gluten. When replacing, add less just so you can adapt the flavors. You can always add more if it lacks the original taste.
7. Soybeans paste
This is another paste that can be used instead of miso paste. It’s mainly used as a seasoning for soups, stews, and other dipping sauces.
This also a fermented bean paste which is similar to miso paste. When substituting make sure to less because it is very salty and you can always add more if it’s not enough.
The key difference between miso and soybean paste is in the colors. It can be used in most recipes but keep an eye on the saltiness.
A substitute that is not related anyhow to any other product but serves as a good substitute for miso paste is chickpeas. It has a stronger flavor than miso paste.
However, they taste similar to cannellini or pinto beans. The flavor isn’t that mild and can adapt easily in your recipes that call for miso paste.
The taste of chickpeas varies depending on the texture and how you use it. Use them as a whole or crushed to make many recipes even paste, they are very healthy.
9. Adzuki beans
Adzuki beans are different from miso paste but make a good replacement. Use when you are making salads or some other rice dishes.
They have a mild and nutty taste and a smooth texture with a bit of sweetness. It is usually used in many recipes in Asian cuisine. They are healthy as well as a good source of protein.
It may come as a surprise, but salt is the only ingredient that can be found all over the place. As simple as that you can add salt to all the recipes that call for miso paste, which will combine well with every other ingredient in your recipe.
Can I use miso powder instead of miso paste?
You can but is more advisable to stick with the paste in most recipes. This is especially true in miso soup because the powder can be difficult to dissolve and it won’t leave any flavor.
Where can miso paste be found?
You can look in many markets and look for miso paste and they are usually packed in tubes.
What can you use miso paste for?
You can use it to make glazes or marinades where you’ll add a nice touch of savory, umami flavor. Also, use it in marinades for pork chops as well as for sauces for sausages or meatballs.