Best Miso Substitutes

The difficulty in finding a miso paste alternative is locating an item that can properly duplicate the flavor and texture.

Miso has a rich, salty umami taste and a creamy texture. Some replacements are better at the former, some at the latter, and only a handful can do both!

Soy sauce, fish sauce, tahini, and vegetable broth are some of the finest miso substitutes. Soy sauce is an excellent miso substitute in foods such as noodles, soups, and marinades.

What is Miso?

Miso is a soybean paste that has been fermented. It originates in Japan, where it is used to give umami taste to vegetarian foods. It has a strong taste and a thick, creamy texture, making it a one-of-a-kind and versatile ingredient.

1. Soy Sauce

Since they are created from the same fundamental component, soy sauce is one of the greatest miso alternatives! Soy, like miso, is a fantastic source of umami taste and a good stand-in for that toasty, savory flavor in a meal.

The most difficult aspect of swapping soy sauce for miso is the change in consistency. Miso is thick and creamy, while soy sauce is thin and watery.

Keep in mind that soy sauce is considerably saltier than miso, so start with less than you think you need! Then, if required, increase the quantity in the recipe.

Because of its comparable flavor, soy sauce is a popular miso alternative. Additionally, keep in mind that there are many varieties of miso, and soy sauce may be a better fit for some than others. Soy sauce, for example, tastes more like red miso than white miso.

Like soy sauce, red miso is fermented and very salty. White miso, on the other hand, is fermented for a shorter period of time and has a considerably sweeter flavor. As a result, soy sauce is a superior substitute for red miso.

Soy sauce is also a good alternative for miso in recipes where it is not the major ingredient. If it is to be used as a flavour, soy sauce may be substituted. The change in consistency, however, is large enough that it cannot be substituted as the principal component.

Meals in Which Miso Paste Can Replace Soy Sauce

Since soy sauce is significantly thinner than miso paste, it may be used in recipes such as:

  • Noodles and related meals
  • Marinades
  • Sauces and condiments
  • Soups

Find out more about soy sauce here:

  • Soy Sauce Evaluations
  • Soy Sauce Substitutes
  • Comparison between Teriyaki and Soy Sauce

2. Fish Sauce

Another excellent miso substitution is fish sauce. It is a thin sauce prepared from fermented fish that is popular in Southeast Asian cuisine.

Fish sauce, like soy sauce, is an excellent alternative since it has a strong fermented taste that adds umami to your food. Nonetheless, it is considerably thinner than miso and, like soy sauce, is a liquid sauce rather than a paste.

Another disadvantage of fish sauce is that it has a considerably stronger flavor than miso. As a result, while making this swap, severely reduce the quantity. It is suggested to use half a teaspoon of fish sauce instead of one tablespoon of miso paste.

Fish sauce, like soy sauce, should be substituted for miso paste if it is a flavor component rather than a texture component in a dish. It’s also a better alternative for red miso than white miso. This is because, like soy sauce, fish sauce has a strong fermented, salty taste that is similar to red miso paste.

Meals in Which Fish Sauce Can Be Used Instead of Miso Paste

Fish sauce, like soy sauce, may be used in lieu of miso paste in meals such as:

  • Sauces and condiments
  • Marinades
  • Soups
  • Dishes with noodles

3. Tahini

Tahini is another popular miso paste alternative, not because it tastes the same, but because it has a comparable texture. Tahini, like miso, is a paste used to provide consistency to meals. It is produced from ground sesame seeds and is excellent for giving foods substance.

Tahini may be used in place of miso paste to bulk out a dish and provide some consistency. Yet, unlike soy sauce and fish sauce, it does not have a strong miso flavor. If you want to use it in a cuisine that includes miso paste as a basis, you will need to substitute additional ingredients.

Tahini is created from sesame seeds, thus it has a creamy, almost nutty flavor. It lacks the umami taste found in miso paste.

You may be able to mimic the consistency and umami taste of miso paste by combining tahini with soy sauce or fish sauce. White miso is a superior alternative for red miso than red miso since it is less fermented and has a softer taste.

Recipes in Which Tahini May Be Used in Instead of Miso Paste

Soups, sauces, and marinades that include white miso

4. Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock is a good alternative for miso paste and a great white miso substitute. Although though it is made from veggies rather of proteins, it has a strong umami taste similar to soy sauce and fish sauce.

Vegetable stock is an excellent substitute for umami taste. Nevertheless, since it is exceedingly thin and liquidy, it is not a viable option for thickening or adding consistency to a meal. As a result, avoid using vegetable stock in containers where miso paste provides a strong basis or the majority of the consistency.

Vegetable stock is also very salty, much saltier than miso. Substitute with care and add a small amount at a time until you obtain the desired taste. Otherwise, your food may get too salty.

Apart from the change in consistency, the biggest issue with replacing vegetable stock for miso is that it lacks the fermented taste of red miso. It is, nevertheless, a fantastic substitute for the salty and umami.

Meals in Which Vegetable Stock Can Be Used Instead of Miso Paste

Miso paste, like soy sauce and fish sauce, may be substituted for vegetable stock in recipes such as:

  • Sauces and condiments
  • Marinades
  • Soups
  • Dishes with noodles

5. Salt

By putting the correct quantity of salt in a recipe, you may sometimes obtain a comparable flavor to miso paste. But, there are several caveats.

The consistency of salt and miso paste is about as unlike as two things can get! Moreover, salt cannot imitate the distinct fermented, umami taste of miso paste. As a result, although salt remains one of our top five miso alternatives, it should definitely only be used as a last option.

Having saying that, it will suffice in a pinch. Use salt as a substitute for miso paste only in recipes with a little quantity of miso and a lot of other ingredients. Applying salt just when necessary helps keep the taste and consistency of your food intact.

Similarly, remember to move gently! Slowing down will assist you in avoiding oversalting your dish.

Meals in which salt may be substituted by miso paste

In recipes with a modest quantity of miso and numerous components, you may substitute salt for miso paste. They might include:

  • Soups
  • Dressings
  • Marinades
  • Sauces and condiments
  • Dishes with noodles

Frequently Asked Questions

Miso paste is an excellent ingredient to have on hand, but many people are unfamiliar with it and are unsure how to utilize it in a dish!

These are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding miso paste and cooking with it.

What Are the Main Types of Miso?

There are many distinct kinds of miso paste manufactured from various grains. Miso is often divided into three categories: red, white, and yellow miso.

1. The darkest of the three basic varieties is red miso. It has a longer fermentation time and additional salt, giving it a lively, salty, umami taste. Since it is potent, you should use it cautiously. It is often used in soups, glazes, and marinades.

2. White Miso is the polar opposite of miso in taste. It has a significantly shorter fermentation period and a lower salt level, and is often referred to as sweet miso. It has a considerably milder taste, making it more flexible. It’s also used as a dairy alternative in certain meals, such as mashed potatoes.

3. Yellow Miso is in the middle of the three. It is lighter than red miso but stronger than white miso, with an intense but not overpowering taste.

Can You Combine Substitutes?

To obtain a taste and consistency similar to miso, mix replacements such as tahini and soy sauce. Slowly taste the mixture to ensure it is not too salty.


Miso paste is a lovely, adaptable ingredient that can provide a nuanced taste to a variety of meals. In a pinch, though, you may swap components to get a flavor or consistency that is similar, if not identical, to the original miso flavor.


What can I use if I don’t have miso paste?

savoury hit. … Salt. If a recipe only asks for a little quantity of miso and has lots of other ingredients, a pinch of salt may suffice.
… Tahini…. Vegetable Stock…. Fish Sauce. umami The Finest Miso Paste Soy Sauce Replacement. If I run out of miso paste, I turn to soy sauce, which has a similar salty flavor.

What does miso taste similar to?

Miso is an ingredient in traditional Japanese cooking and is available at Asian grocery shops. This paste has a salty flavor that is comparable to soy sauce and is known as umami taste. The best miso has a somewhat sweet flavor. Yet, miso has a salty flavor that complements savory meals nicely.

What is the same as miso?

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.

Is miso similar to soy sauce?

Miso and shoyu, or Japanese soy sauce, are claimed to have originated from ancient Chinese soybean paste (“jiang”). Both are standard condiments in Japan, and fermented dishes derived from soybeans have long been vital condiments in Japanese cuisine.

What are the 2 main ingredients in miso?

Miso (or) is a popular Japanese spice. It is a thick paste made by fermenting soybeans with salt and kji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae), as well as sometimes rice, barley, seaweed, or other ingredients.

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 does miso 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.

What is the miso flavor in ramen?

What Exactly Is Miso Ramen? Miso ramen is a Japanese noodle soup seasoned with fermented soy bean paste. Miso is one of three varieties of tare (seasoning) used in Japanese ramen broth, the other two being shio (salt) and shoyu (soy sauce) (soy sauce).

What does white miso do in a recipe?

Miso, together with garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and toasted sesame oil, provides flavor to stir-fry sauces. You may also prepare miso butter as indicated above and add it to your stir-fry towards the end!

Can I buy miso in the grocery store?

Most supermarkets sell miso, although Asian or Japanese specialty shops (or online Asian food suppliers) will usually have a larger assortment. These are some of our favorite miso brands that you can buy online.

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