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Ideas in Food

Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot are the founders of the culinary consulting business Ideas in Food.

added about 4 years ago

Depends on the recipe. Marmite would work. Or a combination of soy sauce and tomato paste.

added about 4 years ago

In the current cooking light it says use 2 tsp anchovies paste plus 1 tsp of tahini instead of 1.5 tablespoon of white miso paste.

added about 4 years ago

Sorry! Magazine says TWO tsp of anchovy paste, not one

added about 4 years ago

Sometimes there is no substitute! If you're making miso soup, wait until you can get some miso. If it's a flavor enhancer/flavor deepener, I would us the soy sauce/tomato suggestion, maybe ketchup for the tomato.

added over 1 year ago

1/4 cup Mayo, 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste and Thai Fish sauce to taste. Best Miso I have ever had! Cheers!

added 12 months ago

Mayo? Was that purely by experimentation? :-)


trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Depends why you are substituting, what kind of recipe, if you want to go to the store, and if you want to wait a month.

I love Japanese food but have a late onset allergy to soy (I use to eat soy, now allergic - but I remember how it tastes), so I've played around with this quite a bit over the years.

I usually buy a soy free miso paste from South River Miso - they have a chick pea and an adzuki bean one. Very flavourful. So most of the time I just use that when the recipe calls for miso.

If it's gluten or a specific grain that are the problem, different miso pastes are made with different grains, depending on the style and what country it's made in/for.

If it's just flavour you need, then I usually mix fermented fish sauce (the one that is just fish and salt), kombu dashi, a few drops of sake, and something nutty flavour like tahini. Not exactly the same flavour, but my Japanese friends can't tell the difference.

If you want the miso texture as well as taste, it's not worth it. Sure there are a lot of recipes that supposedly mimic it, but they are abominations. Not even worth calling them miso substitutes. Though they are tasty in their own right, just nothing at all like miso.

In a pinch, if you have two weeks to a month, make your own. GEM cultures sells koji, all you need is a kilo of chickpeas (or any other bean), same of rice/barley/whole grain (optional), and salt. It's quite tasty and not hugely difficult. See Sandor Kattz books for some recipes. My local library has The Art of Fermentation where I found the best recipe for simple white (shiro) miso.

What I love best about making my own miso is that I can accommodate my allergies, control the salt (and kind of salt) as well as save loads of money.
Here's my recipe for homemade miso paste: http://wholewheatfsm.blogspot...
and another great source to get you started: http://books.google.ca...

added 12 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions re soya free miso as I try not to eat too many soya products.


Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added 12 months ago

I'm allergic to soy, so I've used a combination of (and I know this sounds weird) puréed canned garbanzo beans for texture, tomato paste for color and sweetish-ness, fish sauce, and a bit of sesame oil. Proportions: 2 parts garbanzo beans to 1 part tomato paste, with fish sauce and sesame oil to taste.