Looking for the best white miso? Read on to find the results of our taste test. For more inspiration, see our miso recipes including soups, mains and desserts.
Look for natural miso paste rather than miso soup paste, which often contains seaweed and some other flavourings added.
What is white miso?
Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans, salt and koji (a type of fungus) and is used as a seasoning in Japanese cuisine, often adding savouriness or umaminess to soups, salads and sauces. It’s hailed for its beneficial bacteria resulting from the fermentation. There are a few different styles of miso, including red and barley miso but white is the most widely produced, and is very versatile for both sweet and savoury dishes.
How the white miso taste test worked
We tested each of the miso pastes on their own, and in a simple miso soup. We also tried the top five in a flavoured butter with roasted radishes to check their flavour once cooked. Try our miso roast radishes recipe.
The results for the best white miso taste test
Joint winner: Tideford Organics fresh white miso, £4.99/320g
A smooth, creamy texture makes this miso easy to melt into salad dressings and sauces. Its organic, unpasteurised process gives it a real depth of flavour and complexity with a sweet caramel start, and earthy mushroom finish. Its perfect balance of sweet and salty gives this universal appeal. Whip into chocolate cookie batter to make miso chocolate cookies, add to beef stews, or enjoy in a simple mug of miso soup.
Joint winner: Miso Tasty organic white miso paste, £3.99/200g
Slightly more fermented than the joint winner, Tideford, and not as sweet but still packing a strong soy sauce umaminess and funk with a rich, salty hit. Its soft texture swirls into miso soup, dressings and butters easily, adding roundness in sweet and salty notes. It’s also organic and unpasteurised, which lends itself to being eaten raw in salad dressings or sauces to let the complex flavour shine.
This miso is predominantly made of rice, which gives it a less complex flavour. It is the sweetest of the ones we tried and less salty, making it great for fudge, miso caramels, or to dress bitter greens. It has a smooth, silky texture with a malty caramel finish. It would make an excellent marinade for fish or chicken but lacks the umami depth of some of the others.
More fudgy in texture than some of the other misos, and it definitely adds a salty hit. Less rounded, with less sweetness to balance the funk but still a good flavoured miso. This would work well in thick, glossy glazes to drizzle over aubergine before grilling, or for adding to gravy when rich, earthy flavours and umami is what you’re looking for.
This miso is very salty, without too much sweetness coming through, although it has a good flavour. It would lend itself to richer, more savoury dishes, rather than sweet caramels or salads. The small jar is good if you want to experiment with miso in your cooking first and don’t want to commit to a large jar just yet.
Other expert taste tests from the olive cookery team:
Tinned tomatoes taste test
Marmalade taste test
Anchovies taste test
Pesto taste test
Salted butter taste test
Strawberry jam taste test
Hummus taste test
Dried spaghetti taste test
Oat milk taste test
Smoked salmon taste test