10 Best Fermented Bean Paste Substitutes

Fermented bean paste, or Douchi, is a popular condiment in East Asian cuisine. It has a salty, pungent flavor that can be overpowering, so it’s not always easy to find an excellent fermented bean paste substitute. 

But don’t worry – with a bit of creativity, you can easily replace Douchi in your recipes with something just as flavorful. 

Here are a few of our famous alternates for fermented bean paste: Doubanjiang, Gochujang, Tamari sauce, Miso paste, and for more, keep reading…

What is fermented bean paste called?

There are a few different names for fermented bean paste, depending on the country. 

In Korea, it is called doenjang; in Japan, it is called miso; and in China, it is called douchi. 

All of these names refer to the same basic ingredient: fermented soybeans. 

Fermented bean paste is used as a condiment in many different dishes. You can also use it as a marinade. It has a salty, umami flavor that enhances the taste of other ingredients.

What is a good substitute for fermented bean paste?

1. Doubanjiang – A spicy fermented bean paste substitute

Doubanjiang is a spicy and pungent fermented bean paste made from broad beans, soybeans, salt, wheat flour, and rice. 

doubanjiang is a spicy fermented bean paste substitute

The paste is then allowed to ferment for up to two years. The final product is a reddish-brown color and has a thick consistency

Doubanjiang is a Chinese condiment that can be added to foods during the cooking process or as a topping.

Doubanjiang is also used as a seasoning in other cuisines such as Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Doubanjiang has a strong and pungent flavor that is not for everyone. Meanwhile, it is a good substitute for fermented bean paste.

However, those who enjoy spicy foods will love the flavor of this paste. It can be added to dishes to give them a kick or used as a condiment to enhance the flavor of the food. 

Read More- Doubanjiang Substitutes

If you’re searching for a fresh and unique flavor to add to your cooking, then give doubanjiang a try. You won’t be disappointed.

2. Gochujang- fermented chili bean paste substitute

Gochujang is a fermented chili bean paste popular condiment in Korean cuisine. It has a savory, spicy, flavorful fermented hot pepper paste and a slightly sweet taste. 

Gochujang can be used as a marinade, sauce, or seasoning. Some popular dishes that include gochujang are bulgogi and bibimbap. It’s one of the core ingredients in kimchi and is widely used in many other Korean dishes such as (soup) (stews).

You can use gochujang even in chicken or beef broth, mixed with honey and spread on toast-it’s that amazing!

Gochujang is a Korean condiment prepared from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, and soybeans. The chili peppers and rice are ground into a paste, and the soybeans are boiled and mashed. The paste is then fermented for up to a year.

It is a popular condiment in other Asian cultures as well. Try using gochujang in your next recipe for a delicious and spicy dish.

Read More- Ideal Gochujang Substitutes

3. TAMARI SAUCE- Similar Alternative to Fermented Bean Paste

Fermented bean paste, while delicious, can be a little bit intimidating to make. Try tamari sauce if you’re seeking a tasty and easy-to-make alternative!

Tamari is a soy sauce produced without the use of wheat. It has a slightly different flavor than fermented bean paste, but it’s still a great way to add umami to your dishes.

tamari sauce is a similar alternative to fermented bean paste.

To make tamari sauce, simply mix soy sauce with water and mirin (or rice wine) in a 1:1 ratio. You can also add honey or another sweetness if desired. Keep refrigerated and use as needed!

If you’re looking for some recipes to use your tamari sauce in, try these:

-Sesame Tamari Noodles

-Tamari Roasted Brussels Sprouts

-Black Pepper Tofu with Tamari Glaze

-Ginger Garlic Bok Choy with Tamari Sauce

-And many, many more!

Read More - Best Tamari Sauce Alternatives

4. MISO Great Replacement for Fermented Bean Paste 

Miso Great is a fermented soybean paste that can replace fermented bean paste in many recipes. 

It has a slightly different flavor than fermented bean paste, but it is still a good substitute.

Miso Great can be used in many different ways. Here are a few examples:

– As a condiment: Miso Great can be used as a condiment on rice, noodles, or vegetables.

– In soup: Miso Great can be added to soup for extra flavor.

In marinades: Miso Great can be used for meat or vegetables in marinades.

– In dressings: Miso Great can be used in dressings for salads or other dishes.

5. Nattō Similar to Cheonggukjang

Nattō is a type of fermented soybean dish that is popular in Japan. It is made from boiled soybeans mixed with a bacteria called Bacillus subtilis. 

The bacteria cause the beans to ferment, and this process gives the dish its unique flavor and texture.

Similar to nattō, Cheonggukjang is a Korean dish made from fermented soybeans. 

The dish is typically eaten as a soup, and it is said to be beneficial for your health.

Both of these dishes are examples of traditional, fermented foods that are becoming more popular in developed countries.

6. Doenjang- fermented red bean paste substitute

Doenjang is a fermented soybean paste common condiment in Korean cuisine. It is a thick, salty paste with a strong, pungent flavor. 

While doenjang is delicious, it can be expensive, so here is a recipe for a doenjang substitute made from red beans.


· 1 cup red beans

· 1 clove garlic

· 1-inch piece of ginger

· 2 tablespoons sesame oil

· 1 tablespoon soy sauce

· 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

· 1 teaspoon sugar

· water as needed


1. Soak the red beans in water overnight.

2. Drain the beans and place them in a pot with enough fresh water to cover them.

3. Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 1-2 hours, or until tender.

4. Drain the beans and put them in a food processor or blender with garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar.

5. Puree the beans until they are a thick paste. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water until it reaches the desired consistency.

6. Store the doenjang substitute in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Enjoy this delicious, healthy alternative to doenjang!

Read More- Doenjang Substitutes 

7. Douchi- fermented black bean paste substitute

Douchi is a type of fermented black bean paste used as a condiment in Chinese cuisine. It has a salty and slightly sweet flavour and a strong scent.

Douchi is made by fermenting black soybeans with salt and water. You can add a dip for dumplings or other appetizers.

Douchi is a very versatile ingredient and can be used in various dishes. It can be added to stir-fries, noodles, or rice dishes. 

Douchi is a popular condiment in China and is available in most Chinese grocery stores. It can also be found online. Give douchi a try if you want to add some extra flavor to your Chinese cuisine!

8. Yellow soybean paste- fermented yellow bean paste substitute

Soybean paste is a common condiment in East Asia. There are many different types, but the most popular is yellow soybean paste (hongdao Jiang). 

·   This paste is made from fermented soybeans, wheat flour, salt, and water. It has a salty, slightly sweet taste and is used as a seasoning or dip.

Recently, I discovered an excellent substitute for yellow soybean paste: fermented yellow bean paste (doubanjiang). It has a smoky, spicy flavor and can be used as a seasoning or dip.

I like to use fermented yellow bean paste instead of soybean paste when I want a bit more heat in my dish. 

It’s a fantastic way to add flavor without adding a lot of salt. If you can’t find fermented yellow bean paste in your local store, you can always find it online.

9. Tianmianjiang

Fermented yellow bean paste (Tianmianjiang) is an excellent substitute for douchi, doenjang, and nattō. It has a smoky, spicy flavor and can be used as a seasoning or dip.

Tianmianjiang is fermented broad beans, chili peppers, salt, and spices. It can be used to make stir-fries, noodles, rice dishes, and dumplings, among other things.

Tianmianjiang is available in most Chinese grocery stores. You can always see it online if you can’t find it in your local store.

10. Hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce is usually sweeter than bean paste. Some recipes call for fermented or fresh beans, while others only use the sauce. If the sauce is all you have, it will work in most recipes. 

Hoisin sauce contains a lot of sugar, though, so it will be less sweet and healthier if you can make or buy bean paste.

11. Sweet bean paste

Sweet Bean Paste is also available in some Asian markets. It is a sweetened paste, thicker than regular bean paste and not as salty or savory.

How to use fermented bean paste

Fermented bean paste is a food made from soybeans that have been soaked in water, then boiled and mashed. 

The paste is then left to ferment, which gives it a salty, sour, and slightly sweet taste. 

Fermented bean paste can be used in various dishes, such as soup, stew, rice, noodles, or as a condiment. It is also useful in the preparation of sauces and marinades.

How do you make soybean paste at home?

Soybean paste is an important ingredient in Korean cuisine. It is used in many dishes, such as bulgogi and bibimbap. 

I’ll guide you on producing your own soybean paste at home.

You will need:

– 2 cups of dry soybeans

– 2 cups of water

– A food processor or blender

– A strainer

– A pot


1. Soak the soybeans in water overnight.

2. The next day, drain the soybeans and place them in a pot. Add water and bring to a boil.

3. Decrease heat and simmer for 1 hour.

4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

5. Put the cooked soybeans into a food processor or blender.

6. Blend until it becomes smooth and creamy (you may need to add some cooking liquid if it is too dry).

7. Strain the paste through a strainer to remove any impurities and chunks of bean skin.

8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be stored for up to 3 weeks.

9. Enjoy!

* The soybean mixture can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just make sure you put it into an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.

* A pressure cooker can be used instead of a pot to shorten the cooking time from 1 hour to 30-45 minutes.

* I don’t recommend using a regular blender because most regular blenders are not powerful enough to blend the soybeans smoothly, resulting in an undesirably grainy paste.

Is fermented bean paste good for you?

Fermented bean paste is a traditional food that is popular in East Asia. It is made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and Aspergillus oryzae, a type of mold. Fermented bean paste has many health benefits, including:

-It is a good source of protein and fiber.

-It contains probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health.

-It is a source of vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

-It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Fermented bean paste is a healthy food that you can include in your diet. All you need to do is find the right food containing fermented bean paste.

When selecting a brand for your fermented bean paste, look at the ingredients list. The first ingredient should be fermented bean paste, but it will be listed under different names.

Is soybean paste the same as fermented soybean paste?

Soybean paste is a type of seasoning used in East Asian cuisine. It is made from boiled soybeans, water, salt, and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae. 

Fermented soybean paste is a type of seasoning used in East Asian cuisine. It is made from boiled soybeans, water, salt, and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae. 

The two products are very similar, but fermented soybean paste has a longer shelf life and a stronger flavor.

Wrap Up On Substitutes for Fermented Bean Paste 

Fermented bean paste is a popular condiment in East Asia. Still, it can be challenging to find in the United States. 

If you’re looking for a substitute, here are some ideas that will give your dish the same flavor profile. 

First, try using miso paste or tahini sauce. Both of these options have a salty, umami flavor that will work well with savory dishes. 

You could also use black bean paste as a substitution. These options won’t taste exactly like fermented bean paste, but they’ll add a similar depth of flavor to your dish. 

Don’t be scared to experiment until you find the perfect alternative for your tastes!

FAQs Related to Fermented Bean Paste and its Alternatives

Q1. Is fermented soybean paste the same as miso?

They are both types of soybean paste, but they have different flavors and textures.

Q2. What can I use instead of fermented bean curd?

Fermented bean curd, or fu Yung, is cheese made from fermented soybeans. 

While it is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, it can be difficult to find in some parts of the world. If you cannot find fermented bean curd, there are a few other ingredients you can use instead.

One option is to use miso paste. Miso is a Japanese condiment consisting of fermented soybeans, rice or barley, and salt.

· It has a salty and slightly sweet taste and is often used in soups and sauces. You can find miso paste at most grocery stores.

Another option is to use tahini. It is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. This ingredient is most commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Still, it can be found at various grocery stores.

If you cannot find either miso paste or tahini, try using a package of soft tofu instead. There will be no taste difference, and it will work just as well in the recipe.

Q3Is Korean bean paste the same as miso?

Yes, they are both types of bean paste.

Korean bean paste, or Doenjang, is a fermented bean paste used in Korean cuisine. It is made from boiled soybeans, salt, and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae. 

The paste is aged in brine, producing a thin, dark liquid with a flavorsome aroma.

Doenjang has been used to ferment vegetables for more than 2000 years. It is also an essential ingredient of kimchi or Kimjang, which is the process of pickling vegetables in the traditional Korean way.

Q4. What is the difference between gochujang and doenjang?

Doenjang is a soybean paste that is salty and earthy in flavor. It is made by fermenting boiled soybeans, barley, or rice with salt and Aspergillus oryzae, a type of fungus. 

Doenjang can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or ingredient in soup.

Gochujang is a spicy chili paste made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. Gochujang is thicker than doenjang and has a smoky garlic flavor. 

It is used in Korean cuisine as a condiment for dishes such as bibimbap and bulgogi.

Leave a Comment