Where to Get Miso Paste: A Savvy Shopper’s Guide

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, then you’ve likely encountered miso paste in a number of dishes. This flavorful paste is made from fermented soybeans and is a staple ingredient in many Japanese recipes. But where exactly can you find miso paste? In this article, we’ll give you a breakdown of the different types of miso paste and where to purchase them.

Understanding the Different Types of Miso Paste

Before we dive into where to purchase miso paste, it’s essential to understand the different types that exist. Typically, you’ll find three main types of miso paste:

White Miso Paste (Shiro Miso)

White miso paste, also known as shiro miso, is produced through a shorter fermentation period, typically no more than a year. This type of miso paste is sweeter and has a milder flavor profile when compared to other types. White miso paste is typically used in dressings, soups, and marinades.

Yellow Miso Paste (Shinshu Miso)

Yellow miso paste, also known as shinshu miso, is medium in terms of fermentation period lasting from one to three years. This type of miso paste is saltier and has a stronger flavor than white miso. Yellow miso paste is often used in sauce and soup dishes as well as in marinades for meats.

Red Miso Paste (Aka Miso)

Red miso paste, also known as aka miso, goes through a longer fermentation process, anywhere from three to four years. It has the strongest flavor profile of the three types and is saltier. Red miso paste is typically used in hearty soups and stews.

Where to Purchase Miso Paste

Now that you have an understanding of the different types of miso paste, it’s time to talk about where you can purchase it. Below are some of the places where you can buy miso paste:

Asian Grocery Stores

If you live in an area with a decent Asian grocery store, then that should be your first stop when looking for miso paste. Asian grocery stores often carry a wide selection of miso paste, including different variations of the three main types. You can typically find miso paste in the refrigerated section of the store, but some stores may also sell it in the dried form in the spice aisle.

Online Retailers

If you don’t have access to an Asian grocery store in your area, you can always turn to online retailers like Amazon or Japanese grocery stores that ship internationally. This option is especially useful if you’re looking for less common types of miso paste or if you’re looking to buy in bulk. Online retailers also often have reviews and ratings from other customers, making it easier to determine the quality of the product you’re purchasing.

Natural Health Food Stores

Natural health food stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts may also carry miso paste in their specialty sections. Some of these stores may offer organic or low-sodium options. However, be prepared to pay a little extra for the convenience of shopping at a natural health food store.

Sushi Restaurants

Another option is to visit a local sushi restaurant and ask if they sell miso paste. Many sushi restaurants often make their own miso paste and may be willing to sell you some. This option is best if you’re looking for high-quality, handmade miso paste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about miso paste:

  • Is miso paste gluten-free? Yes, miso paste is typically gluten-free. However, be sure to check the label before purchasing to ensure that it’s gluten-free.
  • Can miso paste go bad? Yes, miso paste can go bad if it’s not stored properly. It’s typically recommended to refrigerate miso paste to extend its shelf life.
  • Can miso paste be frozen? Yes, miso paste can be frozen for up to six months. However, it’s best to transfer it to an airtight container before freezing.


Now that you know where to find miso paste, you can start creating delicious Japanese-inspired dishes in your own kitchen. Whether you prefer white, yellow, or red miso paste, there are plenty of options available at Asian grocery stores, online retailers, natural health food stores, and even sushi restaurants. Just make sure to check the label before purchasing to ensure that you’re getting the right type of miso paste for your recipe.


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