Miso paste, made from fermented soybeans, has been a mainstay in Japanese cuisine for decades. It has a lovely umami flavor and is also full of nutrients, such as proteins, enzymes, and probiotics. Any home cook trying to add depth of flavor to their recipes needs to have this fermented soybean paste on hand.
But occasionally, you can be stuck with a recipe that calls for miso paste and an empty jar of the condiment. Don’t worry; there are many reasonable substitutes that can mimic the distinctive flavor of miso paste! Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, this list of miso paste substitutes can help you create some incredible meals.
1. Soy Sauce
If you’re in a bind and need a quick and easy substitute for miso paste, give soy sauce a try. It has a similar salty and savory taste that can mimic the flavor of miso paste in many recipes. It’s also a good source of essential amino acids and antioxidants, making it a viable option for those who are more health conscious.
Soy sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used in a number of recipes and will undoubtedly improve them. It may be used to season salad dressings, marinades, soups, and stir-fries. However, note that since soy sauce has a thin, watery consistency, it may change the final result of your dish. It is also much saltier, so start with a small amount and taste before adding more.
1 teaspoon miso paste = 1 teaspoon soy sauce.
2. Chickpea Paste
Chickpea paste (also known as garbanzo bean miso) is fermented just like miso paste and has a similar taste and texture. The major difference between the two is that chickpea paste is made from garbanzo beans or chickpeas instead of soybeans, making it a great option for those with soy allergies or looking for a different flavor profile. It’s also a good source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients.
Chickpea paste, or chickpea miso, can be used in a variety of ways, such as seasoning in soups, marinades, salad dressings, and dips. It offers the same creaminess as miso, so you can even use it as a spread on sandwiches or crackers.
1 teaspoon miso paste = 1 teaspoon chickpea paste.
If you’re looking for a vegan, gluten-free substitute for miso paste, try tahini, a sesame seed paste. Tahini has a distinctive nutty flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste and is also a good source of minerals, including thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus.
You can use tahini to replace miso paste in soups, marinades, salad dressings, dips, and even baked goods. It may also be used as a spread on sandwiches or crackers. Keep in mind that tahini has a nutty flavor and is less salty than miso paste, so adjust the amount to your taste.
1 teaspoon miso paste = 1 teaspoon tahini.
4. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment made from fermented fish and has a strong, savory, and somewhat salty flavor that is similar to miso paste, although the consistency differs significantly. Like miso, fish sauce is also rich in essential amino acids and offers a lot of flexibility in the kitchen.
Fish sauce can be used as an alternative to miso paste in soups, marinades, salad dressings, and dips. It is also excellent for enhancing the flavor of fish and meats, as well as for adding umami to stir-fries and vegetables. Remember that fish sauce has a stronger, saltier flavor than miso paste and is less sweet, so adjust the amount accordingly.
1 teaspoon miso paste = 1 teaspoon fish sauce.
5. Marmite or Vegemite
Marmite and Vegemite, both yeast-based spreads popular in the United Kingdom and Australia, can also work as excellent substitutes for miso paste. Both have a strong savory flavor that is similar to miso paste and are high in B vitamins.
You can use Marmite and Vegemite as spreads over toast, sandwiches, and crackers or mix them into soups, stews, and sauces. They may also be used to season meat and vegetables.
1 teaspoon miso paste = 1 teaspoon Marmite or Vegemite.
6. Coconut Aminos
Coconut aminos have a similar salty and umami punch to miso paste, except it’s prepared from coconut tree sap and sea salt rather than fermented soybeans. Plus, it has a quarter of the calories, salt, and carbs found in miso paste, making it a healthier option.
As a miso paste substitute, coconut aminos may be utilized in a variety of ways. It works well as a marinade for meats and vegetables, as a dipping sauce, or to give soups and sauces a salty, umami flavor. It won’t be a perfect replica, but it’s still an excellent option for adding a depth of flavor to various recipes. For an added flavor kick, you can also add coconut aminos to salads, grain bowls, and even popcorn.
1 teaspoon miso paste = 1 teaspoon coconut aminos.
7. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce has a sweet, savory, and somewhat acidic flavor and is a great source of protein. It comprises sugar, soybeans, garlic, and spices and is a thick and viscous sauce. So, while you will get a similar taste as miso paste, the consistency will differ.
You can substitute hoisin sauce for miso paste in equal amounts. Hoisin sauce is great for adding flavor to stir-fries, glazing proteins, and dressing salads. The sauce can also be used as a condiment for dipping and as a marinade. However, since hoisin sauce tends to be a bit sweeter, you may want to add a pinch of salt to balance the flavor.
1 teaspoon miso paste = 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce.
8. Worcestershire Sauce
When it comes to finding a miso paste substitute, the Worcestershire sauce is often overlooked. This savory condiment is made from a blend of distilled vinegar, molasses, sugar, anchovies, tamarind, and other flavorings, which makes it a delicious substitute for miso paste.
Many recipes can benefit from the flavor boost that Worcestershire sauce provides. You can use it in soups, sauces, and dressings, as well as use it to marinate meats and vegetables. Additionally, it can also add a distinctive flavor to your preferred Asian foods.
1 teaspoon miso paste = 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.