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Top 10 Hoisin Sauce Substitutes

Hoisin sauce is a delicious addition to a variety of dishes.

And luckily, if you run out, you can easily make your own hoisin sauce substitute in no time. 

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Hoisin Sauce with Sesame Seeds and Dumplings

From ramen and stir-fries to dipping sauces for tasty appetizers, this sauce is the bomb.

Traditional hoisin is made with fermented beans, five-spice, and soy sauce. Every recipe varies slightly, but these are key to achieving that sweet, sticky sauce. 

Of course, not too many of us have fermented beans on hand. But if you have kidney beans and molasses, you can quickly mimic the flavor.

Add in some extras to deepen the flavor and these hoisin sauce substitutes might just be better than the original. 

Note: almost all of these can be used on a 1-to-1 basis. Of course, it depends on what you’re cooking and how different the consistency is when you’re done.

10 Best Substitutes for Hoisin Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce in a Clear Glass Dish

1. Garlic Teriyaki

Teriyaki is largely comparable to hoisin sauce and can be used in a pinch. The biggest difference between the two is the soy component.

So while you can use it on a 1-to-1 ratio, you might find you need less teriyaki since it’s saltier.

That said, by pureeing some key ingredients with teriyaki sauce, you can easily make your own hoisin. Try this recipe:

  • 3/4 cup of Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 tablespoons of Molasses
  • 3 tablespoons of Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of Five-Spice Powder
  • 2 cloves of Garlic

Kidney beans and molasses make the sauce thicker like hoisin.

Meanwhile, teriyaki, red wine vinegar, five-spice, and garlic add the umami flavor we all love. 

Of course, if you want it sweeter, you can add a few teaspoons of brown sugar too.

Play around with these ingredients to get the perfect consistency and flavor!

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Bean Paste in a Brown Bowl

2. Bean Paste and Brown Sugar

If you have some on hand, bean paste is a staple in making hoisin sauce.

In fact, bean paste and brown sugar create that perfect thick, sticky sauce to add to noodles and rice.

In a food processor, combine the bean paste with brown sugar, soy sauce, five-spice, and rice wine vinegar.

Try this recipe and let me know what you think:

  • 1/3 cup of firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of Chinese Black Bean Paste
  • 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Water
  • 1 tablespoon of Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Sesame Oil

Each element here really brings out the rich and savory hoisin flavor. 

But again, you can adjust the flavor and consistency by adjusting the measurements and even adding other pantry staples.

This might include honey, chili paste, or garlic. 

Prunes in a Round Wooden Dish

3. Garlic and Prunes

With just a few ingredients, you can easily make a hoisin lookalike. This is one of the easiest substitutions to make and is so delicious! 

Dried prunes are an excellent way to achieve the sweetness of hoisin. Just be sure to boil them first to make sure they’re nice and soft before pureeing. 

Here’s a recipe I find work every time:

  • 2 cups of Water
  • 3/4 cups of Pitted Prunes (boiled and cooled)
  • 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Dry Sherry
  • 2 cloves of Garlic

Add water to the food processor until you reach your desired consistency.

Sriracha Sauce in a Round Brass Dish

4. Sriracha and Molasses

If you’re anything like me, you always have a bottle of sriracha on hand. And it’s an excellent substitution if you don’t have five-spice in your pantry.

Try out this recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of Sriracha
  • 1/4 cup of Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Molasses
  • 1 tablespoon of Peanut Butter
  • 1 tablespoon of Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Sesame Seed Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Water
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Five-Spice Powder

Add a tablespoon (or more if you like it spicy) of Sriracha to a nonstick saucepan. When it starts to bubble, add the molasses, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and a touch of peanut butter. 

Heat until well mixed and bubbly, then allow it to cool. You will be blown away by the matching flavor and consistency of this hoisin substitute!

Peanut Butter in a Jar

5. Soy and Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter is a surprisingly excellent addition to achieve complex flavors. It’s salty, savory, and the perfect balancing agent for homemade hoisin.

For this substitution, you’ll prepare an excellent addition to stir fry or BBQ meats.

Make this in a bowl and mix until combined, or heat before serving. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 teaspoons of Hot Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons of White Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Garlic Powder

The bulk of the sauce is made with peanut butter and soy sauce. And if you like it extra nutty, feel free to add an extra tablespoon of peanut butter.

Then, add the hot sauce, brown sugar, honey, and white vinegar and heat until the sugar has dissolved.

It’s amazing how well it duplicates that signature hoisin flavor. 

Barbecue Sauce in a Glass Dish

6. Barbecue Sauce and Molasses

This is by far the easiest and quickest way to make hoisin sauce at home. 

Simply combine BBQ sauce, molasses, soy sauce, and five-spice. No food processor or heat is needed for this recipe! 

If you don’t have five-spice on hand, you can use allspice or masala blend instead.

I don’t have an exact recipe, it’s more of a “taste and adjust” kind of recipe. But here’s what I usually start with:

  • 3/4 cup of Barbecue Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of Molasses
  • 1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Five-Spice Powder

There isn’t much to making this easy hoisin sauce substitute!

Plum Jam in Jars

7. Ginger and Plum Jam

If you happen to have a jar of plum jam in your fridge, it’s time to bring it out!

This sweet spread is an excellent ingredient for homemade hoisin. 

Simply mix the jam with soy sauce, garlic, pepper flakes, and ginger. How easy is that?

This substitute is best with freshly grated ginger, but ginger paste can be used instead. 

Here’s the recipe”

  • 2 tablespoons of Plum Jam
  • 1-inch piece of Fresh Ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 1 tablespoon of Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Crushed Red Peppers

8. Black Beans and Plums 

Cooked black beans are an amazing way to achieve the thickness of hoisin sauce. But if you have a jar of black bean sauce on hand, that’s even better!

And when you mix it with plums, you get such a delightfully umami-rich yet sweet sauce.

Try out this recipe:

  • 2 large Plums (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Water
  • 3 tablespoons of Black Bean and Garlic Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Rice Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Five-Spice Powder

You’ll start by making jam with the plums, brown sugar, and water. Once it’s soft and thick, add the black bean sauce.

Leave that to cool, then blend it with the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and five-spice powder.

I like to add a touch of Sriracha to the mixture to make a spicier hoisin. But that’s totally optional. And this is yummy as is!

Mustard in a Small Ceramic Dish

9. Miso Paste, Mustard, and Raisins

Traditional hoisin sauce is made with miso paste to thicken and deepen the sauce. It’s also the reason it’s so umami-rich and flavorful.

So, if you combine the miso with a few pantry staples, you’ll have yourself a tasty homemade hoisin!

This recipe calls for raisins for chewy sweetness, which I find super helpful since we all have raisins on hand right?

  • 1 cup of Raisins (soaked in water for 1 hour to soften)
  • 1 1/4 cups of Water
  • 1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Miso Paste
  • 1 teaspoon of Mustard
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Crushed Red Peppers

Soak raisins in warm water to rehydrate.

Then, combine the raisins with the water, miso paste, mustard, garlic, and sesame oil in a food processor.

Add in some Asian hot sauce like Sriracha or chili paste for even more flavor.

You’ll need about a cup of raisins for every cup of water, depending on how much you want to make.

The miso, mustard, sesame oil, and garlic can easily be adjusted for flavor and consistency. 

Oyster Sauce in a Small White Bowl

10. Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is probably the closest to a 1-to-1 substitute for hoisin sauce.

You can find this fishy sauce in most supermarkets, your closest Asian market, or online. 

It isn’t a perfect substitution, but the flavors are similar enough for stir-fries or noodles.

Oyster sauce is missing the sweetness of hoisin, so consider adding honey or brown sugar. 

It’s all about balancing the sweet, salty, and savory flavors with hoisin, so feel free to mix it up!

Top 10 Hoisin Sauce Substitutes

Hoisin sauce is a delicious addition to many dishes. And luckily, if you run out, you can easily make your own hoisin sauce substitute in no time. 


  • Garlic Teriyaki

  • Bean Paste and Brown Sugar

  • Garlic and Prunes

  • Sriracha and Molasses

  • Soy and Peanut Butter

  • Barbecue and Molasses

  • Ginger and Plum Jam

  • Teriyaki Sauce and Kidney Beans

  • Miso Paste, Mustard, and Raisins

  • Oyster Sauce


  • Choose your favorite hoisin sauce substitute.
  • Use in all your favorite recipes, from noodles and fried rice to roasted chicken.
Hoisin Sauce Substitutes

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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