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hoisin sauce
3min read

Is Hoisin Sauce Vegan?

by Fabian Jackson

3min read

We know hoisin sauce from many Cantonese dishes, perhaps most famously in the UK as the sauce for crispy pancakes, but is it vegan? Keep reading to find out.

What is hoisin sauce? 

Hoisin is a staple sauce in Cantonese cuisine. Its thick, sticky and flavoursome nature make it perfect for glazing, marinades stir-fries and even as a dipping sauce. It’s dark in colour and has a distinct savoury sweet taste to it. 

crispy hoisin mushrooms

The name hoisin is a shortening of the Cantonese term hói sīn jeung, which translates to seafood sauce. But is there any seafood in hoisin sauce? 

What is in hoisin sauce?

No, it’s safe to say that it’s uncommon to actually find any seafood in hoisin sauce, the name comes from the fact that it was traditionally served with fish or seafood. Hoisin sauce is generally made from fermented soybeans, fennel, red chilli peppers, garlic, vinegar, (Chinese) five-spice and sugar for sweetening. Often there are sesame seeds to garnish and sometimes food colourings. 

hoisin aubergines

Is hoisin sauce suitable for vegans? 

Most hoisin sauce is suitable for vegans, but it’s always with asking in restaurants or checking ingredients labels to make sure. 

Vegan recipes with hoisin sauce

Hungry for hoisin? We don’t blame you – here are a few of our favourite plant-based recipes with lashing of the stuff.

Crispy hoisin mushroom pancakes

hosin pancakes

Vegan tofu bao  


Hoisin aubergine stir-fry

aubergine stir fry

Make sure to let us know what you think of these recipes in the comments below!


By Fabian Jackson
Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

Read more from Fabian

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