23 Great Substitutes for Plum Sauce


Is there anything more disappointing than when you reach for the plum sauce only to realize that you’re all out?

Check out some great substitutes for plum sauce, there’s something here for everyone.

So next time you’re in a pinch, don’t worry – Just pull up this list and get cooking!

23 Best Substitutes for Plum Sauce

1. Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a great substitute for Plum Sauce, especially because it’s cheaper and easier to acquire.

This sauce has a similar but spicier taste than plum Sauce, which uses soybean as a key ingredient.  

How to Substitute

You can make variations of this sauce by adding lemon juice, vinegar, peanut butter, and other flavoring ingredients to better match the needs of your recipe.    

2. Duck Sauce

Although you might think this sauce is made with duck, that’s not true.   

It was first used to cook duck. Hence the name. But this sauce is made from plums, ginger, chili peppers, vinegar, and other ingredients that vary from brand to brand.

How to Substitute

Since the taste is quite similar, you can use a 1:1 ratio for replacement. 

Here’s how to cook with Duck Sauce –

3. Sweet and Sour Sauce

Just the name of the sauce is enough to make us believe that it’s an excellent replacement for all the flavor profiles of plum sauce.

This sauce is usually made with rice vinegar and sugar, though pears or pineapples might be added.  

How to Substitute

You can use a 1:1 ratio here as well. This works best in stir-Frys, marinades, and even as a dip.

Here’s how to cook with Sweet and Sour Sauce:

4. Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki is a recipe and flavor that we are well accustomed to, especially with respect to our stir-fries.

This sauce also has a sweet and sour, somewhat tangy and spicy taste. It’s prepared by mixing soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and a few other things.  

How to Substitute

Feel free to use equal amounts for a replacement here. Using a garlic teriyaki sauce benefits this substitution even more.

Here’s how to cook with Teriyaki Sauce:

5. Ponzu Sauce

Ponzu is another Japanese sauce that you can easily find in the Asian section of your local store or in online stores.  

This sauce is made with citrus juice, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, and a couple of other things that give it the perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors. 

How to Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio here for replacement. It works best as marinade or dipping sauce.

Here’s how to cook with Tarragon:

6. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a fantastic substitute because you probably already have it in your kitchen. 

Soy sauce is a thin, brown-colored liquid that is commonly used as a flavoring ingredient. It has a salty and umami taste.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio cannot work here because soy sauce, recommended in light form, is thinner than plum sauce. Add it as per your preference.     

Here’s how to cook with Soy Sauce:

7. Sha Cha Sauce

If you’ve never heard of his sauce before, don’t fret. This is popularly known as the Chinese Barbeque Sauce, and you can easily find it in many online stores.  

This sauce is sweet, spicy, and salty, making it the perfect substitute.

How to Substitute

You can use a 1:1 ratio here, especially in soups, dipping sauces, and spreads.   

Here’s how to cook with Sha Cha Sauce:

8. Garlic and Prunes

This isn’t a substitute but more of a combination that works great to replace plum sauce in many recipes. 

Prunes are nothing but dried plums, and who doesn’t love garlic? This is why the combination works. 

How to Substitute

Boil your prunes in water to turn them softer, after which you can mix them with garlic, soy sauce, and other flavoring agents as per your taste. 

9. Black Beans and Plum

This is another combination that will blow your mind away when you realize how well it works. 

Black beans have a mild, creamy texture, which is mixed with plums for a great substitute. 

How to Substitute

Boil a mixture of plums and brown sugar. Then add your beans, garlic, and other spices of your choice. This mixture is a worthy substitute.    

Here’s how to cook with Black Beans: 

10. Garlic, Miso, Mustard, and Raisin

As complicated as it sounds, you probably already have the ingredient for this combination that makes for the perfect substitute. 

While you may or may not be familiar with miso, it can easily be found in your store’s Asian section.

Miso paste has a very savory and salty taste.  

How to Substitute

With the flavors of garlic and mustard, the sweetness of raisins that replace plums, and the tanginess of Miso, this delicious mixture can replace plum sauce in equal amounts.  

Here’s how to cook with Miso:

11. Ginger and Plum Jam

This might sound obvious, but finding plum jam wins half the battle of needing a replacement for the plum sauce. 

Plum Jam is obviously sweet and might even contain some artificial additions. Mixing it with ginger creates and sweet and spicy mixture that can be used in many recipes. 

How to Substitute

You can also add red pepper flakes, garlic, and any other additions to match your recipe demands. 

Here’s how to cook with Plum Jam:

12. Oyster Sauce

Again, this is probably an easier replacement to use because it’s a stand-alone ingredient and is easily available.  

Oyster Sauce is made by condensing and caramelizing Oyster broth, the white liquid that is acquired by boiling oysters in it. 

How to Substitute

You can switch plum sauce out in a 1:1 ratio with ouster sauce. However, you might want to consider adding some sort of sweetener.

Here’s how to cook with Oyster Sauce:

13. XO Sauce

For those of you who think this sounds funny and have no clue what this sauce is, let me explain. 

This sauce is made from dried shrimp and scallops, ham, red chili pepper, garlic, canola oil, and much more. It’s basically a sweet and spicy seafood sauce.  

How to Substitute

Use this in a 1:1 ratio but choose another substitute if you do not enjoy the taste of seafood. 

Here’s how to cook with XO Sauce:

14. Caramelized Onion Chutney

For those that might think this is a bit too complicated to make, you can easily find a packaged version in your local store.

This is made with red onions, brown sugar, and some other spices that create a sweet and tangy flavor together.   

How to Substitute

Feel free to use a 1:1 ratio here. Caramelized Onion Chutney goes great in or as a dipping sauce and with your grilling meats.

Here’s how to cook with Caramelized Onion Chutney:

15. Barbeque Sauce

This is another condiment that many households use on a regular basis. If that includes you, then you’re in luck for your plum jam substitute.   

This sauce has a great sweet and spicy flavor with hints of onion and garlic. 

How to Substitute

You may use equal amounts for replacement, and since we are all well versed with Barbeque sauce, you can even add as much or little as you’d like.  

Here’s how to cook with Barbeque Sauce:

16. Char Siu Sauce

Again, if you’ve never heard of this, don’t worry. This is a Cantonese Sauce usually made for pork and rice. You can find it in the Asian section or make it at home. 

This sauce, like most other substitutes, is sweet and spicy in taste, much like the Sha Cha Sauce.

How to Substitute

If you’re new to this sauce, use a 1:1 flavor. Once you get more used to it, you can adjust the amount as you like in your stir-fries or rice dishes.    

Here’s how to cook with Char Siu Sauce:

17. Amba Sauce

This sauce is made from pickled mangoes, and the recipe is believed to be of Indian origin.

It has a sweet, sour, tangy, and spicy taste which goes well with many of the Asian dishes you might be planning on cooking.     

How to Substitute

You can use a 1:1 ratio here, but Amba Sauce tends to be a little sweeter. As such, you might have to make a few changes here and there.  

Here’s how to cook with Amba Sauce:

18. Chamoy

You might’ve seen or tasted this sauce in traditional Mexican dishes, most popularly used as a dressing on tropical fruits like pineapple and mango.   

Chamoy is traditionally made with apricots and has a sweet and spicy taste to it.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio can work here, but because Chamoy is spicier than the other sauces, you might have to adjust according to your tolerance. 

Here’s how to cook with Chamoy:

19. Chili Garlic Sauce

Chili garlic is bound sounds and tastes delicious. It’s probably hidden away somewhere in your pantry.   

If you’re looking to replace your plum sauce with a spicy substitute, this is your best bet. This sauce is full of flavors we love and quite spicy too.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio could work here, but this sauce lacks the sweetness of a plum sauce. So, alter your recipe accordingly. 

Here’s how to cook with Chili Garlic Sauce:

20. Cranberry Sauce

While this might sound like an ingredient you’d only use during thanksgiving, it can be a great substitute for the plum sauce.  

This sauce has a nice, deep red color that visually blesses the substitution and notes of sweet, sour, and berry flavors.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio could work here, but this sauce is not spicy. You might want to add in some other ingredient to fulfill that requirement.  

Here’s how to cook with Cranberry Sauce:

21. Apricot Preserves

This is made out of apricots, water, sugar, and some other preservative that depend on the manufacturing company.  

Apricot preserves have a nice tarty and sweet flavor that matches plum sauce quite well. You can even use some apricot jam instead.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio could work here, too, but again, this substitute lacks any and all spiciness.

Here’s how to cook with Apricot Preserves:

22. Pineapple Juice

If you are someone who hates using pineapple in your savory recipes, let me tell you, it works quite well.   

We all know that pineapple juice can be quite sour but also sweet. It’s used to make a lot of dressings and sauces for it’s ability to blend in with spicy flavors.

How to Substitute

Equal amounts can be used for replacement but do add in some other flavoring ingredients for better results. 

Here’s how to cook with Pineapple Juice:

23. Mango Chutney

Like Onion Chutney, Mango Chutney has Indian Origins and can be quite an amazing replacement for plum sauce.  

It’s fruity and tarty in nature but also has a certain sweetness and spiciness that make it work really well in many recipes.

How to Substitute

Combine your unripe tomatoes with a squeeze of lemon juice and use that mixture in a 1:1 ratio as your replacement.  


What sauce is similar to Plum Sauce?

Plum Sauce is a Cantonese condiment that is made from fruits like plums or peaches, salt, ginger, vinegar, pepper, and other ingredients. So the best answer to this question is a homemade plum sauce.

You can find many easy and quick recipes online. However, if you do not wish to go through this hassle, then any of the substitutes mentioned above will work.

Start with the ones at the top for increased similarity, versatility, and flexibility in your recipes.   

Is Hoisin Sauce the same thing as Plum Sauce?

No, it is not. While these two sauces contain some common ingredients like garlic, chili, sugar, vinegar, etc., the main ingredient in a plum sauce is plums.

This makes plum sauces a lot less savory and a lot sweeter than hoisin sauce. However, these two are also great substitutes for each other in most Asian recipes.     

Bottom Line

I hope this article has helped you choose the right substitute for Plum Sauce!

Please feel free to leave a comment below for any feedback or suggestion you might have. 

And lastly, do share this article with your family and friends as I’m sure it’ll help them if it has helped you! 



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About Maria Brown

Maria loves movies and is a bit of a movie buff. She especially enjoys romantic comedies and comic flicks. Her sweet tooth gets the best of her often, so she loves baking and cooking a variety of dishes. She loves exploring drinks, especially wines.

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