What can I substitute for Miso Paste please?

  • Posted by: Nessa
  • January 13, 2012


Quelle H. May 18, 2017
I have used this for years: Miso Substitute
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup canned re-fried beans
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons Marmite, Vegemite
1 tablespoon beer

Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend at high speed for about 2 minutes, stopping the machine, to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula.

When the mixture is blended, to a uniformly smooth paste, transfer the contents of the blender to a shallow plastic container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until needed..Do not store for over a week.

"Jennifer Brennan "Cuisines of Asia" Tumon., Guam 1984"
boulangere February 25, 2015
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.
trampledbygeese July 12, 2014
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.ca/2013/11/soy-free-sweet-miso-paste-recipe-with.html
and another great source to get you started: http://books.google.ca/books?id=SKqJsiZ49HkC&lpg=PP1&dq=miso&pg=PA167#v=onepage&q&f=true
Cal B. February 25, 2015
Thanks for the suggestions re soya free miso as I try not to eat too many soya products.
David G. July 12, 2014
1/4 cup Mayo, 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste and Thai Fish sauce to taste. Best Miso I have ever had! Cheers!
Cal B. February 25, 2015
Mayo? Was that purely by experimentation? :-)
susan G. January 14, 2012
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.
Jennifer L. January 13, 2012
Sorry! Magazine says TWO tsp of anchovy paste, not one
Jennifer L. January 13, 2012
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.
Aki K. January 13, 2012
Depends on the recipe. Marmite would work. Or a combination of soy sauce and tomato paste.
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