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The 5 Best Substitutes for Bean Paste

Do you love the taste of bean paste but don’t have any in your pantry?

Don’t worry – there are plenty of substitutes that can be used to give your dishes a similar flavor.

Bean paste is a common ingredient in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking.

It adds an umami-rich flavor to many dishes, such as soups and stir-fries.

But if you don’t have access to bean paste or want to use something different for variety, there are several alternatives that will work just as well.

In this article, I will discuss five of the best substitutes for bean paste so that you can still enjoy all your favorite recipes without compromising on taste.

What is Bean Paste?

Bean Paste

Bean paste is a type of food made from cooked beans that have been mashed or pureed into a thick, spreadable paste.

It can be used as an ingredient in many dishes, such as soups and stews, or served on its own as a dip.

Bean paste is popular in many cultures around the world and has been eaten for centuries.

Beans are usually soaked overnight before being boiled until soft.

The cooked beans are then mashed with a mortar and pestle or blended to create the desired consistency.

Salt, spices, herbs, oil, vinegar, garlic and other ingredients may be added to enhance flavor.

The mixture is then heated until it reaches the desired thickness; some recipes call for additional cooking time to reduce moisture content further.

Bean pastes vary widely in texture depending on how much liquid was used during preparation and how long they were cooked for; some bean pastes are smooth while others have more of a chunky texture.

They also vary in color depending on the type of bean used; black beans will produce darker pastes than white beans do.

Bean paste can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for longer storage times.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bean Paste

If you’re looking for a substitute for bean paste, there are several options.

Here we look at five alternatives that will offer a similar flavor and texture:

1. Miso Paste

Miso Paste

Miso paste is a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans.

It is a thick, salty paste with a strong umami flavor.

Miso can be used to make soups, marinades, dressings and sauces.

It is also commonly used as an ingredient in Japanese dishes such as ramen and sushi.

Miso has a unique flavor that can range from sweet to savory depending on the type of miso you use.

White miso (shiro miso) has a milder taste than red or brown misos which are more intense and earthy in flavor.

Pro Tip: To get the most out of your miso paste, try adding it at the end of cooking so that its flavor isn’t lost in the heat!

You can also mix it into mayonnaise for an easy dip or spread for sandwiches and wraps!

2. Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet and salty Chinese condiment made from fermented soybeans, garlic, chilies and various spices.

It’s often used as a dipping sauce for dumplings or spring rolls, but it can also be used to add flavor to stir-fries, marinades and sauces.

Hoisin sauce has a complex flavor profile that combines sweetness with umami notes.

The sweetness comes from the sugar in the recipe while the umami notes come from the fermented soybeans.

It also has hints of garlic and chili which give it an extra kick of flavor.

Pro Tip: Hoisin sauce can be used as a substitute for bean paste in many recipes!

Try adding some hoisin sauce to your next stir-fry or noodle dish for an extra burst of flavor!

3. Fermented Black Beans

Fermented Black Beans

Fermented black beans, also known as douchi or tochi, are a type of fermented soybean.

They are made by soaking and cooking black soybeans in salt water and then fermenting them for several days.

The result is a salty, umami-rich condiment that can be used to add flavor to dishes like stir-fries, soups, and sauces.

Fermented black beans have a strong aroma and taste that can be described as earthy with hints of sweetness.

They pair well with garlic, ginger, chili peppers, sesame oil, and other Asian flavors.

A little goes a long way—just one tablespoon can add depth of flavor to any dish!

Pro Tip: Fermented black beans should always be cooked before eating; they should not be eaten raw due to the risk of food poisoning from bacteria present in the fermentation process.

4. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce

Soy sauce is a fermented condiment made from soybeans, wheat, salt and water.

It has been used in Asian cooking for centuries and is now widely available around the world.

Soy sauce is an essential ingredient in many dishes, including stir-fries, marinades and sauces.

Soy sauce has a salty flavor with hints of sweetness and umami.

It can be used to enhance the flavor of any dish without adding too much sodium or fat.

Try using it as a marinade for meats or fish, or add it to soups and stews for extra depth of flavor.

Pro Tip: To reduce the sodium content of your dish without sacrificing taste, try diluting soy sauce with equal parts water before adding it to your recipe!

5. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a thick, concentrated tomato puree made from cooked and strained tomatoes.

It’s often used as an ingredient in sauces, soups, stews, and other dishes to add flavor and texture.

Tomato paste has a deep red color and intense flavor that adds depth to any dish. It can be used to thicken sauces or added to soups for extra body.

Tomato paste also works well as a base for pizza sauce or as an addition to chili recipes.

Pro Tip: To make the most of tomato paste’s intense flavor, try roasting it before adding it to your dish! Roasting the tomato paste will bring out its sweetness and deepen its flavor even more.


What can you use instead of soy bean paste?

There are a number of substitutions for soy bean paste that you can use in different recipes.

Miso paste, a fermented soybean paste, can be used in place of soy bean paste in many dishes.

You can also use tahini, a sesame seed paste, which is a great alternative for a nutty flavor.

If you’re looking for a more savory flavor, you can use fish sauce, which is a common ingredient in many Asian dishes.

For a sweeter flavor, you can use hoisin sauce, which is a sweet and savory Chinese condiment.

Lastly, you can use tomato paste, which is a great substitute for its sweet and savory flavor.

What can you substitute for spicy bean paste?

If you can’t find spicy bean paste, or you don’t have the time to shop for it, there are plenty of alternatives that you can use to create a similarly flavorful dish.

One of the easiest substitutions is to mix chili oil or chili paste with regular bean paste.

This combination of ingredients will give you the same spicy flavor without having to use the specific spicy bean paste.

Alternatively, you can use a combination of red pepper flakes, garlic, and black bean sauce to get the desired spiciness. You can also add extra ingredients like ginger and sesame oil to further enhance the flavor.

What is the purpose of bean paste?

Bean Paste is a condiment made from fermented soybeans and is commonly used in many Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines.

It is used as a flavor enhancer for many dishes, as it adds a salty and slightly sweet flavor that is often combined with chile peppers or other seasonings to give the dish an added layer of spiciness.

Bean Paste is used to add flavor to a variety of foods such as poultry, meat, noodles, pork, and vegetables. It can also be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or glaze.

How do I substitute black bean paste?

Hoisin sauce, fermented black soybean paste, miso paste, tianmian sauce, and oyster sauce can all be used as a substitute for black bean paste in many recipes.

Each of these sauces has its own unique flavor profile and texture that may work better than black bean sauce in certain dishes.

  • Hoisin sauce is a sweet, fragrant sauce made from sweet potatoes, soybeans, and garlic. Fermented black soybean paste is made from fermented black soybeans, and is used in Chinese and Korean cooking.
  • Miso paste is a salty, umami-rich paste made from fermented soybeans and other ingredients.
  • Tianmian sauce has a tangy, sweet, and spicy flavor and is made from soybean paste, sesame paste, and spices.
  • Oyster sauce is a thick, sweet-salty sauce made from oysters, soy sauce, and sugar. All of these sauces can be used to replace black bean paste in recipes, depending on the flavor and texture desired.


In conclusion, bean paste is a delicious condiment that can be used to add a savory flavor to a variety of dishes.

However, if you don’t have bean paste on hand, there are several other substitutes that can be used to achieve a similar flavor.

The best substitutes for bean paste are miso paste, hoisin sauce, fermented black beans, soy sauce, and tomato paste. Each of these ingredients has its own unique flavor profile and can be used to add depth and complexity to your dish.

So, the next time you’re in a pinch, reach for one of these substitutes and give it a try.

With the right combination, you can create a flavorful dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Bean Paste

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bean Paste

If you're looking for a way to add a bit of umami flavor to your dishes without traditional bean paste, then this article is for you! I'm sharing my top 5 substitutes for bean paste that will give you the same depth of flavor without the added calories. From miso paste to tahini, I'll provide a brief overview of each ingredient and how to use them to get the best results. Whether you're vegan or just looking for a healthier alternative, you'll find something here to make your dish shine!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 100 kcal


  • Miso Paste
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Fermented Black Beans
  • Soy Sauce
  • Tomato Paste


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.