Miso or Tofu: Which is The Right Plant Based Protein Source?

Rohit Panwar

A variety of choices for plant-based meat substitutes leads to confusion to pick the right one. Miso vs tofu is also such a dilemma for many people who don’t know them completely. 

As a nutritionist, I will help you get clarity about the differences between tofu and miso. Find out which will suit best to your needs and other preferences. 

Miso vs Tofu: Battle for the Better Asian Superfood

Let’s compare miso vs tofu based on various metrics such as nutrition, taste and much more. 


Soybeans & Culture


Soybeans & Water


Salty, Umami & Thick


Mild & Soft


1 Tbsp


100 g






25 g*


1.9 g*


6 g*


4.3 g*


13 g*


8 g*


57 mg*


350 mg*


 5.4 g*


0.3 g*




Very Good


Noon & Evening 


Noon & Evening 


Very Good


Very Good




Very Good






Very Good 




1-2 Years


3-5 Days

*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 grams

Miso vs Tofu: How Are They Prepared?

Soybean is the common base ingredient for miso and tofu. However the similarity just ends here.

Miso is a fermented paste of boiled and mashed soybeans. A mold based culture called koji is used to prepare miso. 

On the other side, tofu is made by coagulated soy milk. This coagulant can be nigari salt or calcium sulfate. 

Which Is More Palatable: Miso or Tofu?

Miso and tofu both are integral parts of Japanese cuisine. Miso is fermented food whereas tofu is coagulated.

Miso is a thick paste-like texture which can be compared to peanut butter. It has a pleasant savory taste which is known as umami flavor. 

Tofu is a firm white block of bean curd. You can find it in different textures from extra firm to soft.  Tofu doesn’t have any flavor or you can say tasteless. Hence, It can be incorporated easily with many different flavors. 

How Much Miso vs Tofu Is Enough a Day?

Miso contains a high amount of salt. This restricts miso’s consumption up to 1-2 tablespoons a day. On the other hand, you can consume 100-150 grams of tofu per day. 

In Japan one of the most popular ways of having tofu is adding it to miso soup. It is a perfect combination of two different flavors. 

Miso & Tofu: How They Fare Against Another Soy Option Natto?

| Miso Vs Natto |

| Tofu Vs Natto |

Miso or Tofu: What to Pick for Lesser Calories?

Compared to miso, tofu has less calories. However, the recommended intake of miso is just 15-30 g which will hardly add anything in your calorie count. 

Tofu is also not a calorie dense food. This makes it a popular vegan protein choice among health enthusiasts. 

Better for Low Carbs: Miso or Tofu

Carbs in tofu are significantly lower than miso. In fact, tofu is among few protein rich foods which are low in carbs. 

If you want to build muscles during your weight loss journey then adding tofu to your meals is a great option for you. Its soft texture allows it to replace eggs and cottage cheese easily. 

Fat Content in 100 Grams of Miso Vs Tofu 

When you compare fats in tofu and miso, you won’t find much difference. However, 100 grams of miso has a little more fat compared to the same quantity of tofu. 

Fats in miso and tofu are considered heart healthy. Hence, you need not to worry while adding these traditional soy products to your regular diet. 

Miso vs Tofu as Protein-Rich Source  

Tofu and miso both provide you with all nine essential amino acids which are small compounds which make proteins. They are considered as complete sources of protein. 

Miso contains more protein compared to tofu. However, the small per day intake of miso doesn’t give you enough protein. Therefore, tofu is a better way to add more protein to your diet. 

Which Will Give You More Calcium: Miso or Tofu?

Calcium is a mineral which helps the body to carry out many functions including building and maintaining strong bones. Hence, It is important to consume an adequate amount of calcium for a healthy lifestyle.

As evident in the table above, tofu is a much better source of calcium compared to miso. Tofu contains more calcium than some other vegan protein sources such as tempeh and seitan.  

Know the Fiber Quantity of Miso vs Tofu

Fiber is a kind of carbohydrate which the body is unable to digest. Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent constipation. For good health, you need to have 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. 

Compared to tofu, miso has more fiber in it. Since tofu is made of soymilk, it loses most of the fiber compared to mashed soybeans. 

Nutritional Diversity: Is Tofu Better Than Miso?

Macronutrients such as carbs, protein and fat are already compared above. You can easily see that tofu has an advantage here due to its higher daily suggested quantity. 

Speaking of micronutrients, tofu has more vitamins and minerals compared to miso. This includes calcium, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 etc. Tofu also has a significantly higher amount of vitamin K compared to miso. 

On the other hand, miso contains more vitamin C and sodium compared to tofu. I strongly believe that opting tofu is a more nutritionally diverse choice compared to miso.  

Suitable Time to Have Miso vs Tofu

Traditionally in Japan, miso soup and tofu are part of their breakfast routine. However, if you do want to have these first things in the morning then you can add these in your lunch and dinner. 

Tofu is an excellent way to add proteins in your diet without adding much carbs. This low calorie bean curd is a good option for midday meal or for supper.

Add 1 tablespoon of miso in your evening soup or in your dressing at lunch time. 

Miso vs Tofu’s Impact on Digestive System

Miso is a fermented food and it contains probiotics which promotes your gut health. It also has more fiber compared to tofu, which helps to regulate your bowel movement. 

On the other hand, tofu has less carbs and fats which makes it easy to digest. However, if you have soy allergy then you must avoid tofu to avoid any discomfort to your stomach. Since miso is fermented soy it is less allergic compared to tofu. 

Miso vs Tofu: The Better Reason to Smile

Since miso has a probiotics property, it is considered helpful to keep your gums infection free and reduces the bad bacteria in the mouth. 

Tofu is beneficial for strong teeth because it has more calcium compared to miso. Although miso and tofu both have something different for your smile, here again the more suggested per day consumption of tofu will give a lead to it. 

Which to Pick for Strong Bones: Miso or Tofu?

Protein is the most essential micronutrient for bones. Although miso has more protein than tofu but still I will recommend tofu over miso for strong bones. This is because 1-2 tablespoons of miso won’t give you enough protein. 

Apart from the protein, tofu is a rich source of other micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, copper etc. These nutrients are useful to build and maintain bone strength.   

Are Miso and Tofu the Same in Versatility?

Miso and tofu, both can be used in many different ways. You can add miso paste in soups or salad dressings to give umami flavor. Adding miso in your noodles, rice or curries will also enhance their tastes.

However, remember that miso is a sodium rich food, so avoid adding salt with it or add just a little bit. 

You can add tofu in fried rice, noodles or in your bowl of soup. It will make your food protein rich without adding much calories. You can stir fried tofu to give it a crispiness. It is also a good substitute for eggs. I will recommend you to add tofu instead of paneer in your paneer chili next time. 

“Is miso tofu a good combination?’ I will say “certainly”. Miso is an excellent seasoning for tofu, to add some flavor to this almost tasteless soy product. 

Miso or Tofu: Which Has a Longer Shelf Life?

Miso has a longer shelf life compared to tofu. Miso is a fermented paste and it can stay for 1-2 years. However, there are many kinds of miso pastes in the market and each has a different expiry date, you must check that before picking any. 

Tofu, on the other hand has a shorter life span. You can keep tofu in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. In case you want to store it for longer then put it in an airtight container and keep in the freezer. 

Miso and tofu have their own properties and specific uses so choose the one which fits best to your needs, preferences and taste buds.

After knowing all about Miso vs tofu, what would you prefer? Share your choice with me in the comment section. I will prefer a cake of tofu seasoned with miso. 

Rohit Panwar

Hi! I'm Integrated Nutrition Coach Rohit Panwar. I hold twin Certifications from IIN, New York & SAFM, Massachusetts. I am a passionate vocalist of holistic lifestyle and have fully committed the past several years to educate & empower people towards their wellbeing. Despite a successful yet hectic corporate stint of 21+ years, I have prioritised nutriment in my life. I truly hope my personal journey from illness to wellness helps everybody reading this forge their own path.