Miso paste is a fermented food you see often in Japanese cuisine. It comes in light and dark colors, and it is a staple in the Japanese diet. It is used as the main ingredient for miso soup, and it can also be used in more creative ways. Is Miso gluten free?

Two golden and dark miso paste blobs.

What Is Miso Paste?

Miso is a thick but smooth fermented paste that comes in both light and dark colors. It is fermented with soybeans, adzuki beans, and/or grains like koji rice. This paste is a Japanese food that has gained a lot of popularity in the United States. You can find miso in many grocery stores and online.

There are several varieties of miso. The light-colored miso has a pale golden color, and the dark miso paste is a darker brown. The color of the paste indicates how long the paste has been fermented. Lighter miso paste has a much shorter fermentation period than darker miso paste varieties. You will find both varieties used in cooking and at restaurants.

Miso paste is used as the main ingredient in miso soup. Miso soup is a popular soup served in Japan and Japanese restaurants. You can read Is Miso Soup Gluten Free to read more about it.

Miso can also be sold as a powder. Most often, you will see miso powder in dried miso soup packets.

See what other Asian ingredients are gluten free, so you are ready to cook safely.

Answer: Is Miso Gluten Free?

If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you are probably already pretty savvy label readers. If you wonder is miso gluten free, you are on the right track! The answer, as with many ethnic foods, is that it depends on the brand of miso you purchase.

The answer is MAYBE. Whether miso has gluten is a complicated question, and it really will vary by the brand. Some miso is gluten free, and some miso is not.

Miso paste can be made with fermented soybeans and salt, including fermented grains like wheat and barley. As you know, these are NOT gluten free. Not all miso brands are gluten free, and you need to read the allergen statements on the miso containers to watch for barley miso and other gluten ingredients in miso brands.

These gluten-containing grains are potential red flags, and it is very important to read the ingredient label to look for gluten. A good tip when shopping for miso is to look at the names of the miso. Mugi miso is made with barley, and Tsubi miso is made with wheat and rye.

A small jar of miso paste with a spoonful.

Typical Miso Ingredients:

As you can see from this list, there are a lot of potential issues when it comes to miso

  • Soybeans
  • Brown Rice
  • Koji Rice
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat

Gluten Free Miso Paste Brands:

  • Hikari – This miso paste is made with rice and soybeans. Hikari makes white and red miso paste, and both are gluten free.
  • Smart Miso – You can find this brand at Whole Foods. It is made with rice and soybeans. It is actually certified gluten free.
  • Yuho – This miso paste is made with rice and soybeans and is gluten free.
  • Marukome – Made with rice and soybeans.
  • Clearspring Miso Paste – This is a white miso paste, meaning a short fermentation. It is made with rice and soybeans.
  • Miso Master – They make white miso paste with rice and soybeans.
  • Roland Miso Paste – This is another miso paste with a shorter fermentation and lighter color.
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