Need miso paste for a recipe but don’t have any? Here are the best miso substitutes!
Miso paste is a traditional Japanese seasoning that adds a unique savory and umami flavor to dishes. It’s made through a fermentation process, meaning it’s also a gut-healthy food!
However, miso can be difficult to find and not everyone has it in their pantry! If you’re looking to make a recipe that calls for miso paste but don’t have any on hand, there are several substitutes you can use to achieve a similar flavor.
Miso Buying Tip
You can always find miso paste in your local Asian super market! It is usually in the refrigerated section, and often comes in tubs or bags.
Best Miso Paste Substitutes
While miso paste has such a unique flavor that it can be difficult to replace, these are the best miso substitutes.
It’s worth noting that while these substitutes can provide a similar flavor to miso paste, they may not have the same nutritional benefits, as miso paste is a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it’s good to pay attention to the recipe and the role of the miso paste in it, as the substitutes might not work in all recipes.
Soy sauce is a great substitute for miso paste, as it has a similar savory and umami flavor (plus, it’s in almost everyone’s fridge!)
While miso paste is naturally gluten-free, soy sauce contains both gluten. For a gluten-free option, use coconut aminos or tamari instead of miso and soy.
Keep in mind that soy sauce is saltier than miso paste, so you may want to use less of it. A good rule of thumb is to use half the amount of soy sauce as miso paste to avoid your recipe turning out too salty.
Tamari is a type of soy sauce that is made without wheat, making it a gluten-free option. It has a similar flavor to soy sauce, and can be used as a substitute for miso paste in a recipe.
Similarly to with soy sauce, use half the amount of tamari as miso paste to avoid your recipe turning out too salty.
You can use a bouillon cube to make a broth that will add a savory flavor to the dish. Simply dissolve the bouillon cube in hot water, and use it in the recipe in place of miso paste.
Marmite or Vegemite
These spreads are made from yeast extract and are a good substitute if you’re looking for a umami flavor. They have a very strong flavor, so use it sparingly.
Fish sauce is a condiment made from fermenting fish, giving it a similarly funky and savory flavor as miso. If you are vegetarian or vegan, this miso replacement will not be suitable.
Worcestershire sauce contains ingredients such as anchovies, tamarind, molasses, and soy sauce, which can provide a similar umami flavor to miso paste. If you are vegetarian or vegan, this miso replacement will not be suitable.
Finally, miso is a salty condiment, so you can always compensate for missing miso but adding a bit of salt!
Optional Substitutes for 1 Tablespoon of Miso (pick one)
- ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp tamari
- 1 Tbsp bouillon
- 1 Tbsp marmite or vegemite
- ½ Tbsp fish sauce
- ½ Tbsp Worcestershire
- ¼ tsp salt
- Choose: Select your desired miso substitute based on diet and taste preferences.
- Measure: Replace miso with the indicated amount. It's best not to replace more than 2 Tbsp of miso in a recipe, as this could impact the final texture and flavor.
In conclusion, miso paste is a versatile seasoning that adds a unique savory flavor to dishes. If you don’t have any on hand, there are several substitutes you can use to achieve a similar flavor, such as soy sauce, tamari, bouillon cube, marmite, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce and alternative miso paste. Keep in mind that these substitutes may not have the same nutritional benefits, and use them according to the recipe and your taste preferences.