Skip to Content

Cooking with Depth: 5 Best Miso Paste Substitutes

Miso paste rocks our kitchen with its rich, savory kick.

Ever been mid-recipe and realized you’re out? Total mood killer, right?

No sweat, we’ve got the inside scoop on mixing things up without losing that umami bomb we all crave.

It’s like finding a new favorite song that fits right into your all-time playlist. Soy sauce? It’s a classic swap, hitting those salty, fermented notes.

Then there’s tahini, bringing a nutty twist we never knew we needed. Ever tried nutritional yeast?

Talk about a flavor glow-up. Grab these swaps, and watch your dishes keep their cool vibe, no miso required.

what is miso paste

The 5 Best Substitutes for Miso Paste

If you don’t have any miso paste on hand, there are several suitable substitutes that will work in a pinch.

Here are the five best substitutes for miso paste:

1 – Soy Sauce

soy sauce

While soy sauce is most commonly associated with Asian cuisine, this versatile condiment can be used in various dishes.

Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans, wheat, and salt, and it has a salty, umami flavor that can enhance the taste of many foods.

One of the simplest ways to use soy sauce is as a dipping sauce for sushi or sashimi.

Just add a few drops to your plate and enjoy the flavor of your favorite raw fish dishes.

Soy sauce can also be used as a marinade for meat or vegetables.

Whisk together equal parts soy sauce, rice vinegar, and vegetable oil, and then let your food soak in the mixture for at least 30 minutes.

The result will be a dish that is packed with flavor.

Finally, soy sauce can be used as a finishing touch for soups or stir-fries.

Just add a splash of soy sauce before serving, and you’ll be amazed at how much it enhances the flavor of your dish.

2 – Tahini


If you’ve never tried tahini, you’re in for a treat.

This delicious paste made from ground sesame seeds is often used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

Tahini can be used in various ways, including as a dip, spread, or ingredient in recipes.

It’s also a great source of healthy fats, protein, and minerals like calcium and iron.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy tahini is as a dip for vegetables or pita bread.

It’s also commonly used as a spread in sandwiches and wraps.

Mix it with lemon juice and garlic to create a flavorful dressing or dipping sauce for an easy and delicious way to enjoy tahini.

Tahini can also be added to soups and stews for extra creaminess and flavor.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, try using it in sweet recipes like cookies, cakes, or frostings.

No matter how you enjoy it, tahini is a delicious and versatile ingredient you’ll surely love.

3 – Fish Sauce

fish sauce

Fish sauce is a staple of Thai cuisine, and it’s not hard to see why.

This savory, salty sauce adds depth of flavor to any dish, and a little goes a long way.

Whether stir-frying vegetables or making a curry, fish sauce can help to enhance the flavor of your food.

And it’s not just for Thai food -fish sauce can be used in all Asian dishes.

Here are a few tips if you’re unsure how to use fish sauce.

Fish sauce is typically added at the end of cooking to not overwhelm the other flavors.

Start with a small amount and add more to taste.

Fish sauce pairs well with acidic ingredients like lime juice or vinegar, so try adding a splash of either to brighten up your dish.

When cooking with fish sauce, be sure to add other seasonings like salt and pepper to balance out the flavors.

With these tips in mind, go ahead and experiment with fish sauce in your cooking.

You’ll be surprised at how versatile this humble ingredient can be.

4 – Soybean Paste

soybean paste

Soybean paste is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

For example, it can be used as a marinade for chicken or beef or added to soups and stews for flavor.

It can also be used as a dipping sauce or spread on sandwiches.

Soybean paste is made from fermented soybeans and has a salty, umami flavor.

It is available in both red and white varieties.

While red soybean paste is more commonly used in Korean cuisine, white soybean paste can be used interchangeably.

When shopping for soybean paste, look for brands that do not contain preservatives or artificial flavors.

Be sure to refrigerate soybean paste after opening and use it within six months for best results.

5 – Tamari


Tamari is a type of soy sauce that originated in Japan.

It is made with soybeans, water, and salt and has a thick, dark, and umami-rich flavor.

Tamari can be used in many ways, but it is particularly well-suited for marinades, stir-fries, and dipping sauces.

To use tamari in a marinade:

  • Combine it with other ingredients like ginger, garlic, honey, and sesame oil.
  • Add tamari towards the end of cooking for stir-fries to prevent the dish from becoming too salty.
  • Use tamari as a dipping sauce for sushi or dumplings.

With its versatile flavor and easy-to-use format, tamari is a great addition to any kitchen pantry.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Miso Paste

Looking to maintain that umami-rich depth in your dish without miso paste? Explore our curated list of the top 5 substitutes that seamlessly mimic the flavor profile and versatility of miso paste in your recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Soy Sauce
  • Tahini
  • Fish Sauce
  • Soybean Paste
  • Tamari


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for miso paste
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating