Let us talk about one of the most liked Japanese ingredients, white miso, and its best substitutes. If you like Japanese cuisine, I am sure you must have heard of miso paste. White miso, in particular, has a mild flavor and is preferred by many.
However, while looking for miso paste, you may only be able to find red miso paste. In that case, don’t worry too much. You can achieve a similar mild flavor by simply using a substitute for the same, and this article has the best white miso substitutes.
So I am sure you must be wondering, what are the best white miso paste substitutes? The best white miso paste substitutes are soy sauce, tamari, dashi, tahini, fish sauce, and vegetable stock.
However, how about I tell you about white miso paste a little more in detail before we get to the substitutes? This will definitely make it much easier to pick the best white miso substitute. So, let us discover this wonderful ingredient!
Quick Peek: White Miso
This section has all the information you need on white miso. You will understand what the ingredient is, its flavor and texture profile, uses, and nutritional information.
What Is White Miso?
White miso is a fermented paste made with rice, barley, and soybeans. It is also known as Shiro miso or kome miso. It is one of the most commonly produced miso pastes. It originated in Kyoto.
White miso is made by a two-step fermentation process where first, a grain, usually rice or barley, is mixed with a mold named koji. This mixture is further added to cooked soybeans, water, and salt and allowed to ferment for up to 18 months, resulting in a thick fermented paste.
Describing White Miso: Flavor And Texture
When we talk about the texture, white miso has a paste-like consistency similar to various nut butter. The paste is thick and creamy and can be readily used in various recipes.
As far as taste is concerned, white miso has a mild umami flavor. It has a mellow and nutty sweetness to it. When compared with red miso, it is much milder in flavor. It is the mildest of all kinds of miso pastes produced.
What Is The Difference Between White Miso And Red Miso?
You already know that white miso is much milder in flavor than red miso. However, the fundamental difference between them is how they are both made. The main difference is the length of fermentation between the two.
White miso is fermented only for six months and has a much lower salt content as compared to red miso due to the length of fermentation. However, red miso is fermented for 12-18 months, giving it a stronger umami flavor than white miso.
Uses Of White Miso
White miso is primarily used in Japanese cuisine and is an essential ingredient in Japan. However, now with the increasing popularity of Japanese cuisine globally, white miso has gained a lot of popularity in various parts of the world.
White miso is used to make miso soup, for sure. However, it is used to add its mild umami flavor to various other recipes simultaneously. When paired with dashi, it works extremely well and is an essential part of various ramen recipes.
Moreover, it works as a great pickling agent and can also be added to various marinades to amp up their flavor. Miso also works well in salad dressings and braising liquids. It pairs well with roasted vegetables and works well as a condiment too.
White Miso On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
White miso is generally used in a very small quantity in various recipes. Hence, it generally does not impart any nutritional benefits to food. However, it has various health benefits and is a nutritious ingredient.
A single serving of about 15 grams of white miso contains somewhere around 33 calories. It contains minute amounts of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, sugar, and dietary fibers. Moreover, it contains vitamins B and K with minerals like manganese and copper.
Miso is also linked to various other health benefits. Some of these health benefits include controlling blood glucose levels, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and protecting gut health.
Why Use A Substitute For White Miso?
I am sure you must have thought about this by now. While there are many reasons to use miso in a recipe, there are also some reasons why you can consider using a substitute for the same.
Firstly, white miso is not very readily available. There may be a lot of times when you can find red miso. However, white miso might not be as readily available. In that case, a substitute with a similar flavor profile will come in handy.
Moreover, a lot of people might be allergic to soybeans. In this case, too, a substitute that does not contain soybeans can come in handy. Lastly, if you just seem to be out of white miso, you can use a more easily available substitute.
I believe I have given you enough information about white miso. Now, let me quickly guide you with its best substitutes. Read the next section to know all about them.
6 Best White Miso Substitutes
This section has all the best white miso substitutes. Moreover, you will also understand how to use each substitute in your recipe.
Tamari is a byproduct of miso and has the same umami flavor as white miso does. Hence, it makes a great white miso substitute in various recipes.
The consistency of tamari also works extremely well as a white miso substitute. The consistency of tamari is thick; however, not too thick. It carries a light umami flavor and will give a very similar flavor profile to white miso.
Tamari works well as a white miso substitute in salads, sauces, and soups. Moreover, you can also use it in stir-fried food or any other recipe where you need a similar flavor. Use it in a 1:1 ratio as a white miso substitute.
Dashi is a type of stock used in Japanese cuisine. It forms the base for various soups and has an umami flavor similar to white miso. Hence, it makes a great white miso substitute.
Dashi makes the base for miso soup, in fact. That itself proves that dashi can make a great white miso substitute. However, the consistency of dashi is extremely thin compared to white miso.
So, dashi would work best in recipes where the liquid consistency won’t make a difference to the overall dish. Moreover, dashi has a very concentrated flavor too. So, while using it as a substitute, use less than half the quantity of white miso.
3. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is fermented with a similar umami flavor profile as white miso. It makes a great substitute for white miso in various recipes.
Soy sauce is one of the easiest white miso substitutes to find on the market. Moreover, it has a nutritional profile similar to white miso too. However, soy sauce’s consistency is extremely thin compared to white miso.
Moreover, soy sauce also has a dark color. So, it definitely will impact the color of your dish. In case the color and consistency of soy sauce do not matter in your overall dish, you can use it as a white miso substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
4. Fish Sauce
The fish sauce also carries an umami flavor similar to white miso, in a more concentrated form. It works extremely well as a white miso substitute in various recipes.
The one downside of using fish sauce is that vegans or vegetarians might not prefer it. Moreover, fish sauce generally works well as a white miso substitute, usually with seafood recipes.
While fish sauce will give the same umami flavor as white miso, it is in a more concentrated form. Hence, while using it as a substitute, start by using half the quantity. You can add more later if you want a stronger flavor of the same.
Tahini has a flavor profile similar to white miso. Moreover, it is also similar to white miso in terms of consistency and color. Hence, it makes a great white miso substitute.
Tahini might seem unconventional as a white miso substitute because it is from the Mediterranean. However, as it is made from sesame seeds, it does carry a punch of umami flavor.
Moreover, tahini also has a similar color and consistency, so it won’t change the overall consistency of your dish. However, it is better to use tahini as a white miso substitute in recipes where the quantity of white miso is less.
This is because tahini has a much creamier consistency as compared to white miso. Moreover, you might want to add a little extra salt to your tahini to add to the umami flavor. Use it as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
6. Vegetable Stock
Vegetable stock has a subtle flavor as compared to white miso. However, it can work as a great substitute for white miso in various recipes.
Vegetable stock has a very mild flavor. However, the best part about using vegetable stock is that you can add various ingredients to it to match the flavor of white miso. Moreover, it works well for vegans and vegetarians too.
Since it has a mild flavor, definitely do add some extra salt to your stock to match the flavor of white miso. Moreover, vegetable stock is best used as a white miso substitute in recipes where its consistency won’t make a difference to the overall dish.
Short Recap For Best White Miso Substitutes
I am sure you must have gone through all the best white miso substitutes by now. However, are you still confused about which substitute would work best in your recipe? In that case, there is no need to worry. I have broken it down further into three categories.
Most Suitable: The most suitable substitute for wite miso is tahini.
Easily Available: Soy sauce is the most easily available white miso substitute.
Best Flavor Profile: Tamari will give the best flavor profile when used as a white miso substitute.
As we have reached the end of this article, I hope you were able to find the best white miso substitute for your recipe. White miso can be difficult to find. However, once you get your hands on it, it is one of the most versatile ingredients in Japanese cooking.
Moreover, it can also be added to various other non-Japanese recipes too, just to give them a mild umami flavor. However, in case you cannot find it, all the substitute options given above work extremely well in their place.
Those with a soybean allergy should also avoid white miso, as soybean is one of the main ingredients. So, in case you have a soybean allergy or simply cannot find white miso anywhere, do consider giving one of the substitutes a try!
How To Substitute The Above Mentioned Ingredients For White Miso
White Miso Substitutes
Here is how you can substitute the above mentioned ingredients for White Miso
- Soy Sauce
- Fish Sauce
- Vegetable Stock
Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe
Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between white miso and red miso?
White miso is fermented for a shorter time than red miso and hence has a milder flavor than red miso.
What do you use white miso for?
White miso works well in soups, broths, salads and any other recipe to add umami flavor.
Do you need to refrigerate white miso?
Yes, white miso should be kept in the refrigerator.
Can you eat raw miso paste?
Yes, miso paste can be eaten raw.
How long does white miso last once opened?
White miso lasts for about 3 months once opened.
Is there MSG in white miso?
No, white miso does not contain MSG, also known as Monosodium Glutamate.