File:Sommerrolle mit Hoisin-Sauce 170305 AW.jpg

6 Awesome Hoisin Sauce Substitutes: Uses and Benefits

Spencer B. 11 months ago 0 47

Hoisin sauce, a popular Chinese condiment, adds a sweet and savory taste to a variety of dishes. While it’s a versatile sauce, there may be times when you don’t have it on hand or want to experiment with a different flavor.

6 Awesome Hoisin Sauce Substitutes: Uses and Benefits

This article will explore various hoisin sauce substitutes, their uses, and benefits.

Understanding Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark-colored sauce made from soybeans, sugar, vinegar, and various spices. It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine as a dipping sauce, marinade, or glaze for meats, vegetables, and noodles. It imparts a rich, umami flavor to dishes and is known for its versatility.

Key Ingredients of Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce typically contains the following ingredients: Fermented soybean paste Sugar or sweeteners Vinegar Garlic Spices such as five-spice powder Salt

Top Hoisin Sauce Substitutes

When you don’t have hoisin sauce on hand or want to try something new, consider these substitutes:

1. Barbecue Sauce and Soy Sauce Mixture

Mix equal parts of barbecue sauce and soy sauce to create a quick and easy hoisin sauce substitute.

Barbecue Sauce and Soy Sauce Mixture
2007 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party: BBQ Sauce

This combination provides a sweet and tangy flavor profile similar to hoisin sauce, with soy sauce adding the salty, umami taste. You can adjust the ratio to suit your preferences.

2. Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is another alternative that works well in many recipes for hoisin sauce.

Naomi's Teriyaki Sauce and Plastic Wrap 1
Naomi’s Teriyaki Sauce and Plastic Wrap 1

It’s made from soy sauce, sugar, and mirin, resulting in a sweet, salty, and slightly tangy flavor. Teriyaki sauce may be thinner in consistency than hoisin sauce, so keep that in mind when using it as a substitute.

3. Plum Sauce

Plum sauce, also known as duck sauce, is a fruity and tangy Chinese condiment. It’s made from plums, sugar, vinegar, and spices.

tofu plum vegan game dish 1786318
tofu plum vegan game dish 1786318

While it may be slightly sweeter and fruitier than hoisin sauce, plum sauce can still work well in many recipes, particularly as a dipping sauce or glaze.

4. Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce made from oyster extracts, sugar, and soy sauce. It’s known for its umami-rich and slightly sweet flavor. When substituting oyster sauce for hoisin sauce, consider adding a touch of sugar or honey to mimic the sweetness of hoisin sauce.

5. Tamari and Molasses Mixture

Tamari, a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, can be combined with molasses to create a hoisin sauce substitute. Mix tamari and molasses equal parts, then add a pinch of five-spice powder and a touch of garlic powder to recreate the flavors in hoisin sauce. Adjust the proportions to your taste preferences.

6. Miso and Brown Sugar Mixture

Miso, a fermented soybean paste, can be combined with brown sugar to create a hoisin sauce alternative. Mix equal parts miso and brown sugar, then add a dash of rice vinegar and a pinch of five-spice powder. This combination creates a sweet, savory, and umami-rich flavor similar to hoisin sauce.

Uses and Benefits of Hoisin Sauce Substitutes

Hoisin sauce substitutes can be used in various ways, just like traditional hoisin sauce. Some common uses include:

1. Marinades

Use hoisin sauce substitutes as a marinade for meats like pork, chicken, beef, or tofu. The sweet and savory flavor profile works well with various proteins and helps tenderize and infuse them with flavor.

2. Glazes

Brush hoisin sauce substitutes onto meats or vegetables before grilling, baking, or broiling to create a flavorful glaze that caramelizes as it cooks.

3. Stir-Fries

Add a hoisin sauce substitute to your stir-fries, along with your choice of protein and vegetables, to create a delicious and easy weeknight meal.

4. Dipping Sauces

Serve hoisin sauce substitutes as a dipping sauce for appetizers like spring rolls, potstickers, or dumplings.

5. Noodle Dishes

Incorporate hoisin sauce substitutes into noodle dishes like lo mein or pad Thai for added depth of flavor. Using hoisin sauce substitutes also comes with several benefits:

Variety: Trying different substitutes can provide new and exciting flavors to your dishes, broadening your culinary horizons.

Availability: If hoisin sauce isn’t readily available in your area, using substitutes can make it easier to enjoy the flavors of Chinese cuisine without having to search for specialty ingredients.

Dietary Considerations: Some hoisin sauce substitutes may be more suitable for specific dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free or lower-sodium options.

Customization: By making your hoisin sauce substitute, you can control the ingredients, flavors, and consistency to suit your preferences.


In conclusion, numerous hoisin sauce substitutes are available to suit various tastes and dietary needs. Experiment with these alternatives to find the perfect match for your culinary creations, and enjoy the versatility and benefits they offer.

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