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A steaming plate of chow mein, bao buns, or jiaozi wouldn’t be complete without a little hoisin.

Hoisin (sometimes called Chinese barbecue sauce) is used to marinate meat, add some zest to stir-fry dishes, or make a dipping sauce (mmm… dumplings). The sweet sauce has Cantonese origins and usually includes sugar, soybean, vinegar, garlic, fennel seed, and red chiles.

So, what are you supposed to do when you don’t have any in the fridge?

If you crave the rich and savory flavor of hoisin but your pantry is lacking, you don’t need to order takeout just yet. (But if you do, more power to you.) Instead, try these 10 substitutes.

Hoisin sauce typically contains some garlic. To mimic the garlicky flavor (and ward off vampires or anyone who might want to kiss you), here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder (cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns)
  • 2 cloves garlic

Mix it up in a blender and enjoy with your stir-fry (or that pretty Pinterest recipe you just had to try).

Everyone’s obsessed with sriracha, so chances are you have some on hand.

To mimic hoisin, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of the spicy stuff plus the following:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

Combine everything in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until it’s well mixed. Let it cool before serving with your fave dish.

Hoisin sauce is the ideal combo of sweet and salty. Here’s all you need to mimic its fruit-forward flavor:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup pitted prunes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 cloves garlic

Combine water and prunes in a saucepan and boil until prunes are tender and soft. Let mixture cool, then transfer it to a blender or food processor.

Add soy sauce, sherry, and garlic to the mixture and process it all until smooth.

No prunes? You can also replicate the fruity undertones in hoisin with some plums. Here’s what you’ll need to dig up from the depths of your cupboards:

  • 2 large plums, chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

Combine plums, brown sugar, and water in a saucepan and boil until plums become tender. Mix in black bean and garlic sauce.

Let mixture cool, then transfer it to a blender or food processor. Add soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and five-spice powder and process until smooth.

No prunes or plums to use as a hoisin sub? Try raisins. Soak 1 cup of raisins in water for an hour, and then combine them with the following:

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Blend it all up and bask in your improvisational abilities.

Happen to have plum jam on hand? (If not, you gotta try it.) To make a sweet and fragrant hoisin substitute, mix 2 tablespoons of plum jam with:

  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Hoisin is nicknamed Chinese barbecue sauce for a reason: Both sauces have a sweet and savory thing goin’ on. And molasses has the rich, sticky texture of hoisin. To replicate hoisin, blend the following:

  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder

Hoisin sauce tends to be quite thick, but if your mixture feels more like cement, add a bit of water (just a bit!) at a time until you reach the ideal consistency.

What’s sweet and salty and dark all over? Well, hoisin, obviously — but also bean paste (with a little added brown sugar).

To get the thick texture and perfect harmony of hoisin flavors and color, combine:

  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese black bean sauce
  • 4 pitted prunes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Process these ingredients in a blender or food processor, and voila: You have your very own hoisin sauce wannabe (and a pretty legit one too).

Though peanut butter might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of hoisin, it can do the trick in a pinch. Its thick, sweet flavor can add the richness needed when the real stuff’s out of reach.

To pull this off, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a bowl to form a thick paste.

Mix this into your dish and you’re basically on “Top Chef” — making deliciousness from random, seemingly unrelated ingredients.

Oyster sauce combines caramelized oyster juices with ingredients like salt, sugar, and sometimes soy.

If you’re making shrimp fried rice or another seafood dish, or even a green and leafy stir-fry, oyster sauce can serve as a legit (nonvegetarian) sub for hoisin.

It’s not a perfect swap, since oyster sauce isn’t as sweet and will create a different flavor profile. But go ahead and try the switch at a ratio of 1-to-1 if you want to mix it up.

You might be thinking, “If I don’t have hoisin, how the heck am I going to have five-spice powder or black bean sauce?!”

If you don’t have the precise ingredients for a swap, don’t sweat it: Use what you have.

Even adding a little tamari, soy sauce, brown sugar, or peanut butter can enrich the flavor of your dish. It’s all about getting a delicate balance of thick texture and sweet, salty, and tangy flavors to bring out the very best of your culinary creation.

Don’t be afraid to experiment — just add a teaspoon at a time so you don’t destroy your dinner.

Improvising in the kitchen can def make things more interesting. And while there’s no substitute for the depth and richness of authentic hoisin, you don’t have to change your meal plans or make an unnecessary grocery trip to whip up something delish.