Yellow Bean Sauce Substitute (Alternatives To Use)

Yellow bean sauce, also called yellow bean paste, is a sauce made from leftover soybeans used to make soy sauce, creating a thick sauce that can be mild, savory, or sweet.

However, you may not have any yellow bean sauce and wonder what yellow bean sauce substitute you can use. I made a list, and here are the best alternatives for yellow bean sauce!

Yellow Bean Sauce Substitutes

1. Black Bean Sauce

Black bean sauce is salt-preserved and fermented soybeans, typically used for cooking because of black bean sauce’s savory yet subtle taste.

Since black bean sauce is interchangeable with yellow bean sauce in most cases, black bean sauce is a perfect substitute for yellow bean sauce.

However, it is important to only use black bean sauce if you need savory yellow bean sauce because some yellow bean sauces can be sweet.

2. Brown Bean Sauce

Another bean sauce, brown bean sauce is a paste made from flour, salt, water, and fermented soybeans, creating a mild yet salty and savory paste.

If you want to use brown bean sauce to replace yellow bean sauce, be sure to check the brown bean sauce’s consistency.

Brown bean sauce can be chunky or smooth and thick or thin, so try to pick a brown bean sauce that best matches yellow bean sauce, which is usually a paste-like consistency.

In terms of taste, brown bean sauce is an excellent alternative to yellow bean sauce if you need savory yellow bean sauce.

3. Miso Paste

Miso paste is a dense paste created from fermented grain, soybeans salt, and culturing mold, similar to how bean sauce and soy sauce are made.

Typically, miso paste can substitute yellow bean sauce because miso paste is fairly savory and salty, but miso also has noticeable notes of earthiness.

There are two types of miso, which are white miso and red miso. White miso is a great replacement for mild yellow bean sauces while red miso is an ideal substitute for savory yellow bean sauces.

If your miso paste is too thick for your liking, you can use a little water to dilute the miso paste.

4. Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin Sauce

Like yellow bean sauce, hoisin sauce is made from fermented soybean paste, but hoisin sauce often contains spices and other flavors to create sweet, tangy, spicy, and savory tastes.

Generally, hoisin sauce is fairly thick, so hoisin sauce’s consistency can match the yellow bean sauce’s texture.

Hoisin sauce is an excellent replacement for yellow bean sauce if you need to add yellow bean sauce to stews, stirfries, soups, and such.

However, it is important to note that hoisin sauce is sweeter than most yellow bean sauces (unless you are using sweet yellow bean sauce).

If you do not want your dish to be overpoweringly sweet but want to use hoisin sauce, decrease or eliminate any sugar, honey, etc. if any is in the recipe.

5. Tianmian Sauce

Tianmian sauce is sweet bean sauce or sweet bean paste, making TIanmian sauce another nearly-interchangeable thick sauce for yellow bean sauce.

Despite the name, Tianmian sauce is not a true bean sauce because the main ingredient of Tianmian sauce is wheat and some manufacturers do not add soybeans to their Tianmian sauces.

Normally, sweet bean sauce is much darker than yellow bean sauce, but sweet bean sauce has a savory and sweet flavor if you need a sweet yellow bean sauce substitute.

Moreover, Tianmian sauce is very thick, so Tianmian sauce can easily blend into recipes that call for yellow bean sauce.

6. Light Soy Sauce

If you only need the flavor of salty yellow bean sauce, light soy sauce can be an easy alternative for yellow bean sauce.

Light soy sauce is a pale, amber-colored soy sauce that has a mild yet salty flavor, making light soy sauce an excellent seasoning for foods.

However, light soy sauce is a very thin liquid, which is why thin soy sauce only works as a yellow bean sauce substitute if you only need a salty flavor.

Therefore, you can use light soy sauce instead of yellow bean sauce in thin marinades, glazes, seasoning, etc.

7. Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is a sauce made from oysters, salt, water, sugar, flour, and cornstarch to create a very syrupy, rich, and dark sauce.

Typically, the oyster sauce has savory, sweet, and salty flavors, making oyster sauce a good replacement for savory or sweet yellow bean sauces.

Moreover, the oyster sauce has a fairly thick consistency, so the oyster sauce can somewhat mimic the yellow bean sauce’s texture.

Keep in mind that oyster sauce has a stronger flavor than most yellow bean sauces, so you may want to use the oyster sauce sparingly.

Additionally, the oyster sauce can darken recipes since the oyster sauce is very dark brown whereas yellow bean sauce is pale to bright yellow.

8. Plums And Soy Sauce

If you happen to have soy sauce, sugar, and plums in your kitchen, you can whip up a sauce similar to yellow bean sauce.

Boil water, sugar, and plums then add soy sauce, and you may add whatever ingredients you like such as garlic or spices.

This mixture of soy sauce and plums will be a fairly savory and sweet sauce, which can mimic savory or sweet yellow bean sauces.

If you want this plum and soy sauce mixture to be thicker, mix a little cornstarch into the sauce well after boiling the sauce.

Read our other articles to learn about oyster sauce versus soy sauce, fish sauce versus soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce versus soy sauce.


Yellow bean sauce is a thick, fermented soybean paste commonly used in Chinese recipes, and yellow bean sauce can be mild, savory, or sweet.

If you do not have any yellow bean sauce, you can opt for substitutes like black bean sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and more.

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