Hoisin Sauce Vs Plum Sauce

Hoisin Sauce Vs Plum Sauce

Hoisin and plum sauce share many similarities regarding their origin, use, and thickness. However, Hoisin sauce vs. plum sauce holds some potent differences.

Hoisin sauce includes no fruit and all spices. So, it is different from plum sauce regarding the ingredient list. Plum sauce is fruity, jammy, and sweet. However, unripe plums here give a tangy flavor. However, Hoisin sauce will give a less sweet and tangier flavor. 

There are different brands selling both Hoisin sauce and plum sauce. Still, try to know more about them and their differences. Especially if you’re concerned about the nutrition factors and traditional recipes, read the entire article. 

What is Hoisin Sauce?

peking duck with Hoisin Sauce
Peking duck with Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a popular dish in Asian cuisine. It is used for dipping, marinating, and even as a special ingredient for any dish. Its sweet, salty, and tangy flavor can do magic to a flat-tasting dish. 

In Chinese cuisine, this is known to be delicious ketchup. They use it as a finishing sauce to spread over special dishes. They also use Hoisin as a fantastic substitute for seasoning. Hoisin sauce is also known to be barbeque sauce but in a Chinese version. Americans also love the taste of Hoisin, similar to their staple barbeque sauce in taste and texture.

Hoisin sauce contains sugar, water, salt, sweet potato, garlic, soybeans, pepper, cornstarch, sesame seeds, and other special spices. 

You’ll get Thai aiming sauce in any Asian grocery shop. Also, there are a lot of popular brands selling Hoisin online. 

Some popular dishes made of Hoisin sauce: 

What is Plum Sauce?

Plum Sauce

Plum sauce is also known to be authentic plum sauce. It has both a sweet and sour flavor, making it an ideal dipping sauce. A fun fact about the plum sauce is. It is also mentioned as duck sauce because it is mostly paired with duck and tastes good.

The traditional plum sauce uses the best ripe palms with some firm ones. Using two different kinds of palms is what adds a sweet yet tart taste to this special sauce. 

Well, Chinese people make this recipe in their own ways. They use different types of vinegar ( rice, red wine, black), onions, pepper and spices, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. The ingredient list makes it clear how versatile plum sauce can be. 

Plum sauce is popularly used for dipping, roasting, drizzling, and merely as a special dish ingredient. Chinese people love having this sauce with deep-fried items. In China, they serve plum sauce as their special item with spring rolls, fried noodles, or Wonton strips. 

Some popular dishes made of palm sauce:

Key Differences Between Hoisin Sauce and Plum Sauce

Let’s give a quick check over the basic differences between hoisin sauce and plum sauce:

Basis of ComparisonHoisin SaucePlum Sauce
Ingredient No fruits Includes Fruit
TasteLess sweet and strongerFruity flavor with acidic kick
ConsistencyThick and jammyThick and syrupy
ColorReddish BrownSomewhere between yellow and orange 
NutritionRich with Vitamin B12, fiber, magnesium and copperRicher with iron, fat and potassium.
Hosin Chicken
Hosin Chicken

Hoisin Sauce Vs Plum Sauce: Detailed Comparison

Let’s dig a little deeper and understand the detailed difference between these two popular sauces of Chinese cuisine. 


Both Hoisin and the plum sauce have a sweet yet tangy flavor. Still, the difference lies in the balance of that sweetness. Hoisin sauce is more intense than plum sauce.

On the contrary, the plum sauce is quite milder than Hoisin. The plum sauce will give the taste of real fruits. Whereas, Hoisin will bring a sweet and umami flavor of spices. The plum sauce has the fruity sweetness it gets from the ripe plum. 

Texture And Color

Plum sauce is a smooth and sticky textured sauce. It includes many fruits that make it thicker than any other sauce. The best thing is that hoisin also holds a thick consistency. However, Hoisin also uses several types of spice paste. This makes Hoisin thick enough and pasty for cooking.

Hoisin sauce will be reddish and brown in color. On the contrary, lum sauce holds a shade between yellow and orange. However, the sauces’ thickness and color will differ from brand to brand.


The main difference between hoisin and plum sauce starts with their ingredients. Hoisin is a traditional sauce that uses soybeans ( mashed or fermented), vinegar, sugar, and garlic. Well, the plum sauce is more flexible to play with its recipe.

Still, it uses various ingredients as the basis of the recipe. These are Different types of plums, ginger, chili apricots, sweet potatoes, and sugar. Here, in Hoisin sauce, the soybeans will bring the thickness. But in plum sauce, sweet potato does the job very well.

Also, Hoisin has no fruits in its ingredient list. So, you’ll not get the nutrition or taste of fruits here. In contrast, the plum sauce is considered a healthier option that gives a flavor of natural fruits. 


The use of Hoisin and plum sauce will vary regarding the recipe. Both the recipes have individual use as well. Use plum sauce if you want a slightly sweet flavor in your dip. 

nd for intense and spicy flavor, use hoisin sauce. Also, you can pair these sauces with the ingredients of the dish you’re having. To figure out that, you should know what plum and Hoisin sauce goes well with it. 

As Plum sauce tastes better with almond, chicken, duck, pork, red wine, cheese, and stone fruits and hoisin sauce suits fried items, meat, poultry, beef, pork, and vegetables better.

Nutrition Profile and Health Benefits of Hoisin Sauce And Plum Sauce

Regarding the ingredient list, plum sauce is known to be a healthier option. Still, the flavor and nutrition factors are mentioned in the table here. Give a quick check to know what should be added in your diet list:

Nutrition Factor (100g)Hoisin SaucePlum Sauce
Protein3.32 g0.89 g
Fats1.04 g3.39 g
Carbs42.81 g44.08 g
Water53.71 g44.23 g
Other1.55 g4.99 g

And regarding other nutrition factors: plum sauce has more iron, potassium, and saturated fat. In contrast, hoisin sauce has more vitamin B12, copper, and magnesium.

Hoisin Sauce Health Benefits:

  • Hoisin sauce is good for detoxification.
  • Ingredients used in this sauce will boost your immune system.
  • It can be safe for people who avoid gluten.

Plum Sauce Health Benefits:

  • Plum sauces are a high source of antioxidants
  • It helps in digestion 
  • The plum sauce helps to lower the cholesterol level
  • It also helps their cardiovascular health
Fried Spring Rolls with Plum Sauce
Fried Spring Rolls with Plum Sauce

Can Hoisin Sauce Substitute Plum Sauce?

Although hoisin and plum sauce use different ingredients, they can be used interchangeably. That means you can serve Hoisin instead of plum and vice versa. However, Thi is not recommended by every chef. 

Considering the thick texture and similar tangy yet sweet flavor, they can be used as substitutes. Both of them belong to Chinese cuisine. Both sauces have a similar thickness that will give a good coating. Especially while serving with egg rolls, fried noodles, and spring rolls, they need a thick sauce.

Also, both sauces are found in any Asian grocery shop. If you’re not concerned about the difference in nutrition factors, use them to substitute for one another. 

Which One Is The Best?

Well, hoisin and plum are both nutritious and flavourful sauces. Yet, some might prefer Hoisin, and others will prefer plum sauce. If you want a sweet and fruity flavor, go for plum sauce. For a savory taste, hoisin sauce is the best.

Which one will be best entirely depends on the recipe you’ll try. Both sauces are flexible to your improvisations. So, taste both of them and use whichever tastes good. 

What Are The Best Pairs with Hoisin Sauce?

Hoisin sauce can make delicious pairs with several specific dishes. If you’re trying Chinese cuisine at home, consider serving this sauce as dipping with the following dishes:

  • Chinese egg
  • Peking Duck
  • Chinese Barbecue Pork
  • Spring rolls
  • Stir fry
  • Noodle

What Are The Best Pairs with Plum Sauce?

The plum sauce can make a good pair with other cushions as well. However, the traditional plum sauce will make best pair with these:

  • Rice
  • Chicken
  • Egg rolls
  • Noodles
  • Dumplings
  • Moo shu
  • Pork
  • Shrimp
  • Asian Slaw

How to store Hoisin sauce and plum sauce?

Hoisin and plum sauce both have a certain shelf life. Well, homemade Hoisin and plum will last shorter than hoisin sauce. Also, how long it will differ can vary regarding the fact of opened and unopened jars. 

You can store Hoisin sauce in a tightly sealed jar at room temperature. This will last for months. However, if you notice mold, a sour smell, and rubbery consistency: throughout the sauce. This means the Hoisin sauce has gone bad. 

However, refrigerating the Hoisin sauce will make it last longer. If you’re using store bought ones, consider checking the expiry date first.

The best way of storing plum sauce is to keep it in the refrigerator. You can store it in a similar process as the plum sauce. 

However, if the plum sauce changes its color and smells something different, throw that out. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Plum Sauce Be Made With Other Fruit?

Well, in some recipes, people use plums while making plum sauce. Thai might sound weird. But, where plum is not found, and you need its taste, you can use apricot. It is especially very popular during the nonpalm season.

Why is hoisin called hoisin?

Well, Hoisin was named hoisin as it was named after seafood. In China, they refer to seafood as hoisin. However, Hoisin in today’s recipe doesn’t contain seafood. Even this doesn’t taste good with seafood. People consider Hoisin sauce to have some seafood in the ingredient list before.

Wrap Up:

Hoisin sauce and plum sauce are both incredibly good-tasting sauces. You can try them with varieties of dishes from Chinese cuisine. These sauces are popular around Europe for their unique taste. However, they are quite different in every way. You should know which one will taste with which food to get its authentic taste. The fun fact is they are allowed to be used interchangeably. You just need to know about the taste properly.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *