With a name that means ‘delicious’, hoisin sauce may be tasty. But it’s packed with sugar so I prefer to use these healthier hoisin sauce substitutes instead.
What is Hoisin Sauce?
It’s a Chinese commercial sauce with a very sweet, salty savoury flavour. Commonly it’s used as a dipping sauce for roast pork in Cantonese cooking but can also be used as a marinade.
It’s often used to flavour the meat in Sang Choi Bau.
Similar in consistency to ketchup it’s a thick reddish brown sauce.
The ingredients on my bottle include an appetizing (or not) list of: sugar, water, fermented soybeans, thickener (1422), salted lemon, red yeast rice, sesame seed, garlic, food acid (260), chilli, salt.
Oh and from a nutritional perspective it’s 35.3% sugar. Yikes!
A good reason to look for alternatives.
The Best Hoisin Sauce Substitutes
1. Soy sauce
Naturally fermented soy sauce is much thinner and saltier than hoisin sauce. And significantly less sweet! It’s my go-to substitute because it adds those lovely savoury / umami flavours.
I generally substitute half soy sauce to hoisin.
For example in a recipe using 3-4 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, I’d substitute 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce. Add more if needed after tasting.
If you want some sweetness you could add some extra white or brown sugar or honey but I generally don’t bother.
2. Miso Paste
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