What the Best Substitute for Hoisin Sauce

What the Best Substitute for Hoisin Sauce

Sometimes when making food, you might run out of one ingredient. Or you might not find the thing you need available in your local market. What would you do if you wanted to use hoisin sauce and saw it unavailable? You go ahead with a substitute for hoisin sauce.

Don’t worry; there is an easy substitute for hoisin sauce. The substitute for hoisin sauce will help you fulfill your condiment needs! Soy Sauce is a good substitute for hoisin sauce! As a replacement, you can also use bean paste, teriyaki sauce, Prunes, Garlic, and Ginger plum.

Hoisin is a typical Cantonese sauce and is associated with Cantonese food. It has a pleasant fragrance. The sauce is a dipping sauce and has a thick and rich flavor. It is not difficult to find a good substitute for hoisin sauce.

You can choose many options and go for the one you like the best and think you will enjoy. Hoisin sauce is a vegetarian sauce as it does not use any meat or fish in its preparation. Hoisin sauce is colorful in taste because it has many aromatic ingredients.

Origin of hoisin sauce

There is very little known about the history of hoisin. There is little known about how and when that sauce came into being. The sauce did originate in the Cantonese style, and its name has Chinese roots, which stands for seafood.

Seafood ingredients like fish and mollusks are not used in hoisin sauce. Lee Kum Kee is the most popular hoisin brand. They make the hoisin sauce using sweet potato powder, soybean paste (fermented), water, sugar, coloring agents, stabilizing agents, garlic, spices, pepper and chili pepper, and starch.

Use the hoisin sauce slightly in your food since it has an overpowering taste. If you like the taste of the sauce, then you can use it as much as you want. Hoisin sauce helps people to introduce some Chinese flavor to their cooking.


While there is an endless number of dishes you can eat with hoisin sauce, some signature recipes are perfect for the sauce. The recipes are Chicken Wings baked in hoisin sauce, General Tso’s Chicken, Vegan Stir-Fry, and Spare Ribs. You can look at the recipe for spare ribs to learn how to use hoisin sauce in your food.

Spare Ribs and Hoisin Sauce

The recipe has a long preparation and cooking time, but it is worth the patience! You will need eight pounds of pork ribs, three spoons of tomato ketchup, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. You will also need two spoons of honey, rice wine, 2-3 garlic cloves minced, and some water.

Cut the ribs into long sectional pieces, add the mixture of soy, tomato, hoisin, minced garlic, and rice wine into the ribs and mix them well. Cover the ribs and let them marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat your oven up to 177 C or 350 F. Take a roasting pan and fill it shallowly with water. Place a rack on the water and keep the marinated ribs on top. Dissolve honey in some boiled water and glaze the love on the ribs.

You need to roast the ribs for thirty minutes. Take them out and let them cool down for 15 minutes. After this, you are ready to serve some delicious and mouth-watering spare ribs marinated in hoisin sauce.

What the Best Substitute for Hoisin Sauce

Substitute for Hoisin Sauce

A good substitute for Hoisin sauce is soy sauce. Soy sauce is a vegetarian sauce. The condiment comprises fermented soybean paste, brine, prunes, wheat, and Aspergillus sojae. The soy sauce shares similar notes in taste with hoisin sauce and therefore makes an excellent substitute for hoisin sauce.

You can also pick bean paste as a replacement for hoisin sauce. If you do not mind non-vegetarian condiments, you can use Worcestershire sauce or oyster sauce as a substitute for Hoisin sauce. Soy sauce has a potent umami flavor that is similar to Oyster sauce. Hoisin sauce has a mild but spicy taste and is very aromatic.

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Hoisin Sauce

There is no single hoisin sauce that is available. The sauce has many variations, varying according to the region. However, all hoisin sauce uses similar ingredients like fennel, soybean, garlic, chili pepper, and sugar.

Other spices are also added, but that depends on the region. Hoisin sauce originated in China. Hoisin sauce was named after seafood despite never being used with it but now has diverse uses.

The critical ingredient is soybean paste which has been fermented for a long time. Hoisin sauce can include rice, wheat, and sweet potato as well. Some variation in the preparation uses white vinegar and coloring agents.

Traditionally, however, toasted mashed soybeans were used to make hoisin sauce. There are many variations of hoisin sauce, some of the standards being Cantonese, American, and Vietnamese. These three versions have different applications for the spices.

You can use the substitute for hoisin sauce for many reasons. But you might have forgotten to buy the sauce and might not like the taste. Again, you might want rich flavor, or your local markets do not keep any. Whatever the reason, you can substitute hoisin sauce for oyster sauce or soy sauce.

substitute for Worcestershire sauce

Making Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce has a long shelf life, and it is tasty. The condiment has various uses and can be paired with any food- noodles or rice. The ingredients you will need are discussed below.


Your ingredients include soy sauce, black bean paste, sesame seeds, molasses, garlic, vinegar, cornstarch, pepper, and water.


To make the delicious hoisin sauce, you need to combine the ingredients. Whisk together soy sauce, black bean paste, ground pepper, sesame seeds, molasses, vinegar, cornstarch, and a little water.

If you want your hoisin sauce to be sweeter, you can add prunes to it. Make a prune paste first, and then add it to the mixture. After mixing the sauce for a few minutes, let it sit in the refrigerator. You can serve the straight sauce from a jar or container! You can also add Five spices to the recipe.

That is a blend of five aromatic spices. The spices included are fennel, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, and cloves. The Five Spices give the sauce an additional boost and a fragrance that is too irresistible.

The hoisin sauce best fits for brunch, dinner, or lunch with friends and family. While the store-bought hoisin sauce is excellent, nothing compares with a homemade one.

Uses of Hoisin Sauce

You can use hoisin sauce in a multitude of ways. Hoisin sauce is used as a dipping sauce in many Asian cases. It is also used as a glaze since it has a thick texture.

The glaze is used on meat or seafood. Hoisin condiment is used along with other sauces to ring out more flavor.

Appetizers are mostly paired with hoisin sauce. Egg rolls and stir-fry benefit from adding the sauce due to the color and taste it brings to the food. And you can dip noodles or rice into it.

Hoisin sauce works best with meat like beef, chicken, pork, and also with tofu. The condiment works best when it is refrigerated. Serving it cold with the appetizers is a good way to go. The stir-fry benefits from hoisin sauce because it is so good.

Chinese Sauces

Chinese sauces have become a genre of food add-ons in the international market. There is a global fascination for Chinese and Asian food due to their exotic taste. Asian cuisines offer a compelling amount of variety in their choice of food, which is very exciting.

When you look for something different that can add a charm to your everyday food, Chinese sauces are the first thought. There are several kinds of Chinese condiments that you can buy online or make at home.

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Usually, the Chinese sauces are cheap, but there are high-grade ones. Sometimes you can face some problems in getting a few spices from local markets. But online delivery is trendy now, and most online stores have Chinese sauces available at their store.

Some well-known Asian sauces are sepen, Huawei, soy, Asian sesame, chili bean, oyster, teriyaki, and fish.

What is a good substitute for Hoisin Sauce?

If you were wondering what can I substitute for hoisin sauce, worry no more. You can substitute hoisin sauce for soy sauce. That is the best substitute for hoisin.

Soy sauce is a substitute for hoisin sauce easy.

Soy sauce is thinner in consistency than hoisin sauce, but they share the same taste. Only hoisin sauce has versatility like soy sauce in Chinese sauces. So, what can you substitute for hoisin sauce? The answer is soy sauce.

Worcestershire sauce is also a suitable replacement if you do not mind the seafood ingredient used. Though hoisin adds an umami flavor without any seafood, soy sauce lacks the umami element. You can go for oyster sauce, fish sauce, or Worcestershire sauce if you want that.

Hoisin sauce tastes spicy, sweet, and flavorful. It is thick and rich and has a delicious aroma.

Making Soy Sauce

Authentic soy sauce is tasty and takes up to six months to make. Homemade soy sauce tastes superior to shop-bought soy sauce. You can use soy sauce as a substitute for hoisin sauce. Making the sauce is super easy!

You need to follow a couple of steps. First, you need to buy some soybeans. Around 100-200g of soybeans should be enough. Add the soybeans into a pressure cooker and pour a cup of water. Cook the beans for 15-20 minutes.

Then take out the cooked beans and pour them into a bowl. After draining them, mash the beans properly. There shouldn’t be any chunky bits left. After that, add four cups of wheat and knead it until it is a smooth dough.

Do not add any water to the dough. Add a little koji starter to the dough and let it for one to two days. The koji will help ferment and unique flavor to the soy sauce you are preparing. Cut the dough into two-three inches thick pieces and then prepare the brine.

Take 15 cups of water and add 3 cups of salt. Dissolve the soil in boiling water. Add the soy pieces into the brine and keep them inside a jar. You have to stir the content every day in the first week and then once every week for six months.

Keep the pot closed a pot a storage place away from direct sunlight. Stir the content like this until the color of the paste turns dark.

After six months, strain the contents through a cheesecloth and heat the liquid obtained for 20 minutes at around 80 C°. Then let the liquid cool down, and voila! Your very own homemade soy sauce is ready to serve!

Health benefits of hoisin sauce

The hoisin sauce has many health benefits. The condiment is a good and tasty alternative to high-fat or zero-nutritional sauces for people on specialized diets. The sauce has Vitamin C and A.

The hoisin sauce is low on fat and has an excellent antioxidant feature. Hoisin is also a viable source of manganese and iron. Unlike soy sauce which has no additional nutritional values, hoisin sauce does provide a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Its antioxidant properties help maintain cholesterol levels as well. Everyone likes a tasty sauce, but it becomes even more unique and exciting when it is also helpful nutritionally! Though there are many substitutes for hoisin sauce, none can compare to the original.

Final Thoughts

Hoisin sauce is exciting and brings an authentic Chinese touch to the cuisines you are cooking. If you are wondering- what is a substitute for hoisin sauce? Soy sauce, Barbeque sauce, and Worcestershire sauce are suitable substitutes.

Chinese food is very popular with folks all over the world. The variety in Chinese sauces inspires people to try and experiment with new flavors and nutrition. Pair the best food like seafood, meat, rice, and noodles with hoisin sauce.

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