What can I use instead of hoisin sauce?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “what can I use instead of hoisin sauce?” and the way to select hoisin sauce substitute.

What can I use instead of hoisin sauce?

Hoisin sauce is a spicy sauce that is often seen in Cantonese cuisine. Sweet and salty in flavor, it is great for marinating and glazing a wide range of meats and poultry. The sauce may be used in stir-fries, curries, or as a dipping sauce for vegetables.

It is a traditional bean paste condiment with a flavor profile that includes sugar, vinegar, salt, and the savory umami flavor of soybeans, among other ingredients. Contrary to common perception, even though the term “hoisin” is derived from the Chinese word for “seafood sauce,” it does not include any shellfish or seafood.

The term “hoisin sauce” is often used interchangeably with the term “barbecue sauce” in China. It is a great compliment to a variety of meats. Hoisin sauce is a delicious condiment that goes well with a wide range of dishes, from pork to duck and everything in between. With it, even the most basic vegetable dishes may be elevated beyond recognition to the height of elegance.

Hoisin sauce is often vegan or vegetarian. If you’re buying from a store, be sure to carefully examine the bottle before purchase. Some producers may use animal products as setting or thickening agents, which is prohibited by law.

The Top 5 Hoisin Substitutes 

Sauce de barbecue (barbecue sauce)

In this recipe, hoisin sauce may be substituted with American barbecue sauce since it is a Chinese-inspired sauce. While this is sufficient in and of itself, there are a few additional measures you may do to enhance authenticity.

If your barbecue sauce is very rich, you’ll almost definitely want to sweeten it with a little sugar. Molasses is the best option since its richer flavor is the most evocative of the original hoisin flavor, and it is also the most affordable.

Dark brown sugar has a flavor that is comparable to light brown sugar, but it is thicker in texture. If you don’t have any honey or maple syrup on hand, you may use that instead.

At this stage, if the sauce seems to be overly sweet, season with a splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of the five-spice mixture previously mentioned. A splash of rice wine vinegar, on the other hand, adds a kick to the dish.

The barbecue sauce serves as a solid foundation upon which to build the rest of the dish. If a recipe calls for a little amount of hoisin sauce, use an equivalent amount of barbecue sauce in place of the hoisin.

Black Beans with a Spicy Sauce

As Asian cuisine gets more popular, it is becoming simpler to locate excellent stir-fry sauces to use with it. Black bean sauce is now widely accessible in the refrigerated sections of most major supermarkets, as well as in-store cabinets and pantries. It is also available online.

Black bean sauce is made similarly to hoisin sauce, although it is a more obscure cousin in many ways. While hoisin has a more delicate flavor profile than soy sauce, the two may be used interchangeably as necessary.

It is the uniformity of the basic beans that ensures their consistency throughout time. A black bean sauce may be the ideal choice if you’re going to be using a lot of hoisin in your dish.

Soy sauce 

If none of the aforementioned options are viable for a quick stir-fry, soy sauce is the most straightforward substitute for hoisin sauce to consider.

Even though the flavors are different, adding soy into a marinade or sauce offers many of the same benefits as using hoisin sauce. Both of these items are fermented soybean products.

Selecting a Hoisin Substitute: A Guide

Creating your hoisin sauce is the most time-consuming option if you have the opportunity. Given the fact that the vast majority of replacements need some degree of taste matching, this may not be as time-consuming as you think it will be.

If you don’t want to make your own, the decision comes down to the function of the hoisin you like. As a marinade or rub, try using barbecue or teriyaki sauce. As a dipping sauce, soy sauce or oyster sauce are good options. Black bean sauce may be the best option for stir-frying.

The trick is to maintain the consistency and flavor you’re looking for throughout the process. It is important not to be turned off by apparent differences. Making a lot of different experiments may lead to the discovery of something completely new and different.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “what can I use instead of hoisin sauce?” and the way to select hoisin sauce substitute.





Hello, I am Medhavi Singh. I am a PhD Scholar in the field of Food Science and Nutrition. I'm a skilled professional in Nutrition and Food technology. I love baking and writing food blogs, and in future, I want to become a Food Scientist.