This Hoisin Sauce Ingredient Swap Is Perfect For People With Soy Allergies

If you've ever eaten at a Chinese restaurant, you've probably had hoisin sauce. Often served on the side as dipping sauce for egg rolls or spring rolls, the popular Asian condiment has a salty taste, similar to that of soy sauce, which adds an extra burst of umami flavor to your dish. While you can buy it at Asian grocery stores, it can be difficult to find in regular American grocery stores. Not only that, but as with most things, homemade hoisin sauce is almost always more delicious and healthier because you can control exactly what goes into it.

However, there's one big problem with most hoisin sauce recipes: They're made with fermented soybean paste. That's bad news for people with a soy allergy or intolerance. Fortunately, not all is lost. Even if you're allergic to soy, you can still enjoy hoisin sauce. Here's what you can swap out for soybean paste.

You probably have it in your pantry already

Believe it or not, one of the best soy-free alternatives to the fermented soybean paste in hoisin sauce is peanut butter. While not authentically Asian by any means, the blogger behind Ela Vegan explains that peanut butter gives your hoisin sauce a "creamy and rich" flavor. You can substitute it for soybean paste in a one to one ratio; however, Ela Vegan also recommends adding a dash of hot sauce or red pepper flakes to mimic the spicy taste of the traditional soybean paste. You can use any type of peanut butter, although natural peanut butter (one that's just peanuts and salt) will be your healthiest bet.

If you happen to be allergic to both soy and peanuts, Omnivore's Cookbook notes you can swap almond butter for peanut butter in your hoisin sauce. It will add a texture and nutty flavor similar to that of peanut butter.