Who doesn’t love a good savory spread on toast for breakfast or in sandwiches with cheese for lunch?
There is so much we can do with spreading products, from adding unique flavors to quick soups, sauces, gravies, or marinades, to spreading thinly over a cracker, bread, and on sandwiches.
And one such product is marmite — a sticky, dark brown paste with distinctive umami or soy sauce-Esque flavor that saves most meals from the trash can.
But are there other great spreads like Marmite?
Of course, there are.
If you’re out of marmite and there is none in the nearest grocery store, or even if you find marmite too intense, you can either use vegemite, miso, promite, and Bovril, soy sauce, and peanut.
These are some fantastic marmite substitutes that serve the same purpose, if not better.
Best Marmite Substitutes
If you are unappetizing munching bread with marmite, there is something more flavorful you could try, and that is vegemite.
This thick, intensely powerful dark brown Australian spread has never failed to spice up anything it comes in contact with.
Whether you are topping waffles, scrambled eggs seasoning, crackers, sandwiches, and more, vegemite makes an awesome choice.
They are similar to marmite. Some might even playfully call them brothers from another Australian mother.
But one of the remarkable things about vegemite is that no artificial flavor or color was used in its making.
It is also sugar and fat-free. And the texture is similar to peanut butter —which we’ll also see on this list.
On top of that, vegemite is a vegan top choice. So if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, worry less.
However, the downside of this spread is that it is rare outside Australia.
And if you’re a first-timer, avoid eating it plain, as it is more intense in flavor as compared to marmite.
Even in meals, use a tiny bit of it so you can enjoy it. The reason is that vegemite has a strong taste and could seem bitter, especially if you are not used to it.
Well, the intense flavor was made ideal for seasoning or as a condiment for other meals.
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The secret weapon in everyday healthy-ish Japanese and Chinese diets is miso.
It is a traditional Japanese seasoning product — more like an older brother to marmite; made with fermented soybeans, koji, and salt.
Very similar to marmite, miso is a fermented paste with a rich, salty umami flavor that can be added to vegetarian soups and stews, whisk into salad dressing, pan sauce, marinades, panko crust, and in many ramen recipes.
But they are most preferred for:
- Ginger grilled miso asparagus
- Chicken salad along with creamy miso dressing
- Pecan-miso butter and jelly sandwiches
Furthermore, miso and marmite both have saltiness as well as the concentrated dose of the umami flavor.
More than its uses and taste, miso is relatively easy to find. Just check any local Asian grocer or well-stocked grocery store.
Among other marmite substitutes, promite is one spread you should be considering.
This spread has distinctive and delicious umami flavors that taste amazing on crackers, toasts, sandwiches, even in stews and soups.
For me, I cherish promite on fresh toast or bread paired with cheese, tomato slices, mashed potato, or leftover dahl.
Moreover, promite has a sweeter taste than its famous cousin: marmite and vegemite. So if you’re running from strong flavors, well, you just found your next stop — even if you’re a vegan.
And they are way cheaper than marmite and vegemite. Again, another pocket-friendly alternative if you don’t have much to spend on the best spread but crave something better.
The only downside is the scarcity. Promite is quite challenging to find in supermarkets outside Australia. And nutritiously, it is not that good, as there is more sugar, sodium, and less yeast.
Bovril is a suitable marmite substitute but not for vegans because it is a salty meat extract paste.
Almost identical in taste, Bovril has this intense smell of dark chocolate, as well as a fresh ground coffee with an after note of tobacco.
It is an excellent spread with deep brown color for seasoning meats, stews, and gravies.
Aside from those, Bovril is versatile. You can form your own beefy drink by just adding a tablespoon of it to a mug of boiling water or with milk.
It can also be used to add a palatable flavor for soups, broth, as well as porridge, or as a spread, especially on toasts, bread, crackers, and sandwiches — in a similar fashion to vegemite or marmite.
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If you are not fond of marmite, well, you can replace it with some soy sauce.
This product is made from a fermented paste of soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and aspergillus sojae molds or Aspergillus oryzae.
It is a dark color like marmite with a distinctive savory flavor of slight bitterness, acidity, saltiness, as well as sweetness.
I think it will make a great substitute due to its strong umami flavor as well.
You can add them directly to food, mixed with ground wasabi for use as a dipping or salt seasoning in various foods — whether in noodles, rice, sashimi, or sushi.
Although they should, flavor and texture may differ depending on where it was purchased.
Japan soy sauce seems like syrup and is less salty.
6. Peanut Butter
While peanut butter might sound a bit off, it is also a good savory spread that has the answers to almost all of your marmite needs.
It is obtained from ground, dry roasted peanuts with added ingredients like salt, sweeteners, or emulsifiers that modify its taste and texture.
The sweet, nutty, and earthy flavor makes it a close substitute for marmite. If eaten straight, you will quickly feel the chunky and later smooth texture melting in your mouth.
It is commonly used in many countries to coat the bottom of an ice cream cone, make salad dressing, spread on crepes, pancakes, and waffles.
Its property to melt gloriously has made it easy to add in recipes like stews, soups, stir-fries, dipping sauce, as well as baked goods.
In summary, knowing about these marmite substitutes will only take you so far. Knowing when to actually substitute them for marmite is where the real magic lies.
If you want something that is closest to marmite‘s flavor, I recommend you go for a homemade marmite, or you can try promite and vegemite.
For strong umami flavor ideal for your beef, chicken dishes Bovril will do the trick.
And since most of these spreads are difficult to find, you can just take a stone’s throw to the nearest supermarket for promite, peanuts butter, or soy sauce.
Lastly, if I were you, I’d gladly swap marmite for soy sauce in classic baked goods due to its intense flavor and rich brown depth.
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