Does Miso Go Bad? How Long Does Miso Last?

If you have had Japanese cuisine, then you have probably eaten a bowl of miso soup. You may have been interested in duplicating a Miso recipe or using Miso paste to create other meals at home. It bears to question if Miso goes bad and how can you tell.

Quick Answer

No, Miso Paste does not tend to go bad because it is not a perishable product.  If stored properly, the paste can last for years past the expiration date.  The best way to store Miso is in the refrigerator.  Miso can maintain quality for several years if refrigerated.  Freezing Miso for 6 months or more is helpful if you do not use the paste often. Miso can be stored in many ways and still maintain taste and consistency for an extended time.  Although Miso does not go bad, it can spoil once opened if not correctly stored.


Like tabasco sauce, once opened, Miso gradually, over time, will change color and taste.  Since Miso can last for years, knowing when it has spoiled is necessary.

Does Miso Go Bad? How Long Does Miso Last?

Miso has a high content of salt. As a result, it preserves very well.  If kept in a refrigerator, it does not tend to go bad.  The consistency of taste can remain for up to two years or more if properly stored.

How Long Does Miso Last Outside?

Unopened: Miso can also maintain in a pantry or cabinet well. As long as the temperature does not fluctuate much, the color and taste should remain. It won’t go bad, but the quality in taste and appearance can change over time. The best by date, if available, can help you gauge when to replace your miso paste.

Opened: Generally, the Miso paste will keep its color and taste three months after opening. It must remain at room temperature to ensure this happens. You can continue to use the product a year after best by date. Unless the package urges you to refrigerate, you can keep it in the pantry.

How Long Does Miso Last in the Fridge?

It is tough to pinpoint an exact time for you to get rid of miso paste because it is a fermented product.  In general, Miso can last for three months to a year after best by date.  Some home cooks have been able to keep Miso paste for up to two years stored in the refrigerator.  The low temperature allows for it to remain consistent for a long time.

Original Container:  Seal Miso jar tightly before storing inside of the refrigerator.  The tight seal will help to maintain color and taste for an extended period.

Plastic Container:  Put the unused Miso into another container that seals for refrigeration. Containers work well if the Miso was initially packaged in a non-resealable tube.  You can extend the shelf-life of Miso by making sure that the container seals well.

How Long Does Miso Last in the Freezer?

Miso can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months or more.  It will help sustain the quality of Miso if you don’t plan on using the product often.  Although this step is not necessary because of how long it maintains in the refrigerator.

Whole: Put the Miso tube inside of a freezer-safe plastic bag.  When in need of Miso scoop or chip amount needed for a recipe.  Miso will not freeze solid, and it will be easy to portion even from the freezer.

Cubes:  If the original package was a jar, scoop contents into an ice cube tray and freeze.  Once solid, you can place the cubes inside of a freezer-safe plastic bag for continued storage.

How To Tell If Miso Has Gone Bad / How To Know Miso is Fresh

The chances that Miso will spoil are almost none. You may want to look for signs of spoilage if you have had it for a long time. Mold, major discolorations, and smell are signs to look for if you think it is spoiled. If your Miso has any of these qualities, discard and buy another container.

How to Store Miso?

Shelf:  Store unopened Miso in a cool, dark cabinet or pantry area.  Make sure it is not near any heat sources, whether near a window or stove.

Fridge:  The refrigerator is the best place to store Miso to preserve its shelf life.  It can last for a year or more beyond the expiration date because of the low temperatures.  After an extended time the Miso may change color and taste slightly but is still edible.

Freezer:  You can freeze the product, although refrigeration is best.  If you freeze Miso, use an ice tray to ensure you have individual portions for thawing. Instead of a block, you will have to chip or scoop it out.  Freezing and refreezing this product is not recommended.

Can You Freeze Miso? How?

Yes, you can freeze Miso paste.  If it is up to you how you choose to freeze it, some suggested ways to freeze this product.

Whole:  Make sure your paste is in a freezer-safe container. Try not to freeze and refreeze Miso to prevent discoloration and taste discrepancies.

Portions:  The best way is to freeze it in an ice tray so that you have individual portions to use at any time.

1st: Place spoonful of Miso in an ice tray.

2nd: Let freeze overnight.

3rd: Place cubes into another freezer bag or container so that your freezer doesn’t dry it out.

How to Thaw Miso?

Whole: If you have frozen it in its entirety, chip or scoop off the amount you need.  You do not want to freeze and refreeze the product.  You can warm Miso Paste right into the recipe that you are using.  If you do not need it right away, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator.

Portions:  You can remove a piece or two in the freezer for thawing or add directly to your recipe for immediate use.

Frequently Asked Questions About Miso’s Shelf Life

Where can you purchase Miso Paste?  Miso Paste or Soybean Paste can be found in Asian grocery stores. You can also find Miso in the refrigerated section in popular grocery chains. Miso will be next to the tofu in plastic tubes.

How should Miso taste?  Generally, Miso has a tangy, salty taste.  It tends to be on the savory side of flavors.  Although, the lighter misos can have more sweetness.

Why does the Miso look darker after I purchased it?

The darkening can be caused by the paste being kept warm and does not pose a health risk if eaten.  To prevent this from happening, quickly store in the refrigerator.

What else can I use Miso Paste to make besides soup?  Miso is popular with Japanese food such as udon, ramen, and tofu dishes. You can also use Miso to make gravy, stews, and dressings. Miso can be eaten cooked or raw. The possibilities are plentiful when added to vegetable dishes and sauces.

Wrap Up

The best way to store Miso is in the refrigerator. The low temperatures help Miso to maintain its color and taste for an extended amount of time. You can also keep it in a dry, cool pantry if you prefer or only until it is opened. After opening, you can store it in the fridge to preserve color and taste long after purchasing. Putting it in the freezer isn’t necessary, but you can if you choose.

Leave a Reply