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Store-bought miso paste - how long can it be be kept in the fridge ?

Inspired by the "Does kimchee go bad ?" thread.

I buy a small square tub of it every once awhile:


But the last 1/3 for some reason takes forever to finish up, and after a couple of months I just toss the tub completely, even though it may still be usable. Just wondering if there is an intrinsic expiry date after opening ?

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  1. It likely depends on the brand, but my guess is about five years. Lots of salt keeps it from going funky.

    1. A very, very long time. I'd say at least a year, probably longer.

      1. I was gonna say "forever"!?! Have a nice little Asian market near me. Owners are GREAT! First time there was to shop for soy sauce... musta been 6-8 different brand with little/no English on labels. I just asked which brand should I try first... have NEVER be steered wrong.

        Decided to make miso soup... found ALL ingredients there to make the dashi. Miso paste was the only slightly pricey ingredient. The broth was WAY WAY too fishy for me with the bonito flakes! Have had smallish tub of miso in fridge for past few YEARS!! I use it when just about anything needs a little flavor boost... veggies, rice, sauces, stews.

        1. Mine seems to last forever, too! Before putting it back in the fridge, i flatten the surface, put a piece of plastic wrap in contact with the miso, and cover the container.

          1. Cool, thanks everyone !

            Guess I've been tossing them unnecessarily because the surface top became darkened (I removed the piece of wax paper after opening the tub) after awhile and I didn't like the look of it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: LotusRapper

              I know what you mean, i toss mine when the last bits are too hard but the above plastic wrap trick works great.

              1. re: LotusRapper

                If you transfer the miso from the plastic tub to a jar with a proper lid, you could reduce the degree of drying out.

              2. I'm in the "pretty much forever" camp.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pikawicca

                  Me too. I have two jars of South River miso in the fridge and I don't actually remember how many years ago I bought either of them. Agree with KarenDW that the glass jar may help. But I have never had a problem with staleness or off-tastes, much less mold or anything like that.

                2. So far, there is no definitive answer to your question.

                  1. I would think 2-5 years in the refrigerators.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      no qualms for a year at least for me. any dark crusty bits on the surface gets scooped out the rare occasion it happens.

                    2. You'll probably have to buy a new refrigerator before the stuff actually goes bad (as opposed to getting dry).

                      1. Yep, I'm in the forever camp too. If you're looking for new ways to use up miso (glaze for fish, salad dressing, etc.), Sally Schneider has lots of interesting ideas. Here is an interview with her on Splendid Table:


                        3 Replies
                        1. re: tcamp

                          Thanks Tcamp. Hmm I haven't listened to The Splendid Table in eons.

                          1. re: tcamp

                            I use miso in a lemon miso dressing (miso, lemon juice and zest, olive oil) for a cherry tomato and onion salad.

                            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                              That sounds delicious! I am in the camp of keeping my miso forever and ever (my current tub is ~2 years old) but I'd like to be able to go through it faster, honestly, so I can try different varieties.

                          2. I can almost see a contest running here: "Who has the most aged miso paste ?" :-)