While some of you would start reminiscing the salty-savory flavor at the word “miso,” others would be hearing it for the first time. A classic ingredient in many Japanese foods, miso paste, has become an all-time favorite for people worldwide. From salad dressings to balance the sweet flavor of polenta, miso livens up the taste and aesthetics of your food.
Although it is found in many international stores and online, you can go any miso paste substitute if you do not have it. The substitutes might not be as good as the original miso, but they do the job pretty well.
Miso Paste – A Heavenly Taste That Makes You Drool
We know that miso has its roots in Japanese culture. However, the manufacturing process makes it stand apart from other seasonings and pastes.
Some of you might find the process a little gross. Here is why.
The miso paste’s all-time favorite, tangy umami flavor is achieved when the soybeans are mixed with a mold named koji– they are left to inoculate for weeks or even years. Yes, you read that right; it is coming from a fungus! But do not let that get to your head because miso is perfectly safe to consume and heavenly delicious.
Miso is layered with tangy, salty, and earthy flavors- as some people, it comes from nature, so it tastes like nature- healthy and flavorful. Miso can balance the sweetness as high as in jams, cobblers, and even doughnuts while baking savory goods.
Fun Facts About Miso Paste
Miso paste is available in many varieties, each different in color and density. The sweet miso is versatile, has a milder taste, and has lighter color. At the same time, dark miso is darker- as the name suggests and denser. Miso paste can be stored in the refrigerator as long as the shelf life allows; however, it can get darker and thicker with time. Nevertheless, if you store miso paste in the freezer, it will stay the same for ages.
You can use miso to make kimchi, chicken noodles, and even with eggs. Blend it with the other herbs and use it in various dishes like soup, pizza or you can mix it with butter and spread it on your garlic bread to make your taste buds jump with happiness!
However, if you are out of miso paste or could not find it in stores, we have a few miso paste substitutes for you. Furthermore, people with high blood pressure issues should not consume due to its high salt content miso paste; hence they can also use the alternatives.
Miso Paste Substitute
You can use the following when you love Japanese food but do not have all the Japanese ingredients like the miso paste in your basic pantry. There is always a way out for foodies.
1. Soy Sauce
Already popular for its salty and tangy flavor, soy sauce can be used instead of miso paste. The only problem here is that miso has a thicker and creamier texture while soy sauce has a very thin, water-like consistency. So, again, when you have to use the things that do the deed in time of need!
2. Fish Sauce
Another great substitute for miso paste is a Thai condiment called fish sauce. It also has a thin consistency but closely replicates the umami flavor of miso.
3. Vegetable Stock
If you are planning to make miso soup for dinner but do not have the paste, you can easily use pre-cooked or prepare the vegetable stock from scratch. It cannot do justice to the pure miso soup but can be used when needed.
Tahini is similar in consistency to miso paste but milder in taste as it is made out of sesame seeds. It can substitute for a little amount of miso, but if you are looking for a strong salt-savory taste, then tahini is not an option.
If you do not have miso paste at home or any other substitutes available, table salt is your last resort. It can be used instead of a little amount of miso.
Japanese food has a powerful aroma and taste, and miso is usually the reason behind the rich flavors. But if your forgetful mind forgot to pick the miso paste from the grocery store and your Japanese friends are on their way, just use any miso paste substitute- and enjoy!