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Is Hoisin Sauce Gluten-Free?

It depends. Traditional hoisin sauce recipes are gluten-free, but today most commercially available hoisin sauces are made with wheat, either to thicken the sauce or in added soy sauce.

If you have celiac disease, only eat hoisin sauce labeled gluten-free. You may be able to find gluten-free versions in your local grocery store or online retailers.

What is Hoisin Sauce?

Hoisin sauce is a sweet and salty sauce used often as a marinade. It is most closely associated with Cantonese (Southeast Chinese) cuisine. Recipes vary but usually contain mashed soybeans, red chili, garlic and fennel. Sugar and vinegar are frequently added. Today the sauce is sometimes thickened with sweet potato or rice starch, but wheat starch is also used.

Try it as a marinade for meats, a dipping sauce for lettuce wraps, duck or pork. It can also add an excellent depth of flavor to a soup dish like pho.

Gluten-Free Substitutes for Hoisin Sauce

What if your recipe calls for hoisin sauce but you don’t have any gluten-free bottles on hand? Try these substitutes!

  • Peanut butter and gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, 4 Tbsp molasses and 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha, 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce and 1 Tbsp brown sugar

Think you may have celiac disease?

Symptoms Checklist