A few months back…
I had this unbelievable craving for black bean sauce. I stir-fried some veggies and rushed to the grocery store just two blocks away from my house. But, as always, black bean sauce was not readily available.
Much to my chagrin, I had to make a salad of those veggies, and I was heartbroken about it.
So, fast forward to this day, I have figured out some pretty excellent black bean sauce substitutes. If you cannot find this sauce in your neighborhood, too, you have to try the alternatives because they are pretty good.
Stay with me to find out what those substitutes are but before that, let’s talk about our favorite black bean sauce!
A Sneak Peek At Black Bean Sauce
Black bean sauce is mainly used in Chinese cuisine, and its main ingredient is fermented soybean. The tangy flavor of this sauce comes from fermentation, and it adds a lot of flavors to an overall bland dish.
This sauce is mainly used for cooking in China, and people don’t use it for dipping. So, it is more like you are supposed to add this sauce to your veggies or chicken and then cook it for a flavorful meal. The hint of sweetness and salt in this sauce makes it unique.
You will also notice a gingery and garlicky taste in between while eating black bean sauce. It is a whole package of all the flavors, from sweet to savory and tangy to spicy, which is why it is an absolute fan favorite.
This sauce is considered healthy compared to the sauces we usually consume, so most health-conscious people go for it. Yet, I go for it because of its taste.
Nutritional Values of Black Bean Sauce
I will talk about the nutritional values of a 16g serving of black bean sauce.
Why Should You Reduce the Consumption of Black Bean Sauce?
I know that black bean sauce is excellent and all, but there are specific reasons you should avoid its consumption. I am listing those reasons below, so keep reading.
High In Calories
Even though 16g serving of black bean sauce is not that much yet, it contains 26 calories. 16g of sauce would hardly be 1 tablespoon, and these many calories are never healthy for one tablespoon.
People on a portion control diet or are doing keto can never eat it because of the higher calories. Or even people who want to go towards healthier eating would be bothered by the number of calories in just one serving of black bean sauce.
If you already have a bloating problem, you should certainly steer clear of this sauce because black beans are known to increase bloating. Excessive consumption can even affect your digestion so, don’t go over the board with adding black bean sauce to your meals.
Black bean sauce can cause minor problems in your stomach, like indigestion or discomfort after consuming your meals. It can even cause diarrhea if you are eating a little too much.
Note: Despite all these problems, it would be good not to go over the board with black bean sauce. But, it is better to look for healthier black bean sauce substitutes because this sauce is not suitable for your stomach.
So, are you all set to discover what black bean sauce substitutes are?
The 5 Best Substitutes of Black Bean Sauce
The spicy black bean sauce substitutes are:
- Oyster sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Miso paste
- Tianmian sauce
All five of these sauces are the perfect black bean sauce substitute, and you can even make some of them at home. Oyster sauce is my personal favorite, but others are pretty good too.
Substitute#1: Oyster Sauce – The Match Made in Heaven
We are talking about the best black bean sauce substitute; oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is used in almost all Chinese and Korean foods, from Chowmein to chicken chili. It enhances the overall flavor of the dish. The salty flavor it brings out in the dish is unmatched, and oyster and black bean sauce are like two peas in a pod, so substituting it is easier for you.
Oyster sauce also has a hint of sour and sweet, but it is more on the sweeter side than black bean sauce. However, many people like the touch of oyster sauce in their dishes. If you are not an absolute Asian food enthusiast, you might not even feel the difference between the two sauces.
Per 16g serving
Health Benefits of Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is not only mouth-watering, but it is healthy as well; here is how:
- Low Calories
Black bean sauce has almost three times more calories than oyster sauce. Many people find the oyster sauce a healthier alternative to all the other sauces available.
- Bone Strength
Oyster sauce also contains calcium, which can make your bones strong. If you continue the consumption of this sauce regularly, it will have a very positive impact on your bones.
- Packed with Nutrients
Oyster sauce is packed with nutrients mainly because it is made using oysters containing copper, vitamin D, and zinc. Our body needs these nutrients regularly. So, if you are getting these crucial nutrients from the oyster sauce, it is a lot better than getting them through supplements.
Substitute#2: Teriyaki Sauce – The All in One
Teriyaki sauce is mainly used in chicken recipes, and people love it because of its strong flavor. Teriyaki can be one of the excellent black bean sauce substitutes because it is sweet, savory, tangy, and spicy at the same time. It is an all-in-one sauce, for real.
Teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce, garlic, mirin, and honey. If you want to make it sweeter, you can add brown sugar to increase the taste. The competition of black bean sauce vs. teriyaki is usually won by teriyaki sauce.
15ml sauce Teriyaki sauce contains
Health Benefits of Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce does not have as many calories as black bean sauce, and it is also comparatively healthier. Here is how
- Helps with Fatigue
It might sound absurd, but teriyaki sauce does help with fatigue because it is an excellent source of iron which is just the right solution for your aches.
- Reduces Hypertension
The magnesium in teriyaki sauce is perfect for regulating and balancing your blood pressure. Hypertension can be a lot more harmful than you can imagine.
- Improves the Health of Kidneys
Teriyaki sauce contains an adequate amount of phosphorus which is responsible for keeping the health of your kidneys in check.
Substitute#3: Hoisin Sauce -The Easy Going One
Hoisin sauce is also made with fermented soybean. Therefore, it is also a great alternative to black bean sauce. You can either add this sauce to your dishes or keep it at the table for dipping it as it has a slightly thin consistency.
It is a very fragrant sauce, and you will feel the heat of different spices when you eat it. Some people like to add peanut butter in the hoisin sauce to make it smoother and thicker, but it is better to stick to brown sugar. It can be an addition to black bean sauce substitutes.
16g serving of hoisin sauce contains
Health Benefits of Hoisin Sauce
Though hoisin sauce contains more calories than black bean sauce, it is still a great alternative. You can find it quickly or make it at home without hassle. Let’s dive into the health benefits of hoisin sauce and see the position of black bean sauce vs. hoisin sauce.
- Low in Fat
Hoisin sauce does not contain an overwhelming quantity of fats. That is why it is the perfect option if you try to cut out fats without compromising taste.
- Packed with Vitamins
I love hoisin sauce mainly because it is packed with Vitamin A and C, which we don’t usually get frequently and which our body needs regularly.
- Antioxidant Properties
There are antioxidant properties in this sauce, so all in all, it is an excellent source of nutrients for you despite its high-calorie count.
Note: If you are bothered by the calories, avoid adding more than one tablespoon of hoisin sauce to your meals.
Substitute#4: Miso Paste – Thick, but Still Good
If we talk about black bean sauce vs. miso, miso paste sure does not look like black bean sauce. Still, it is also made with soybean, so they are basically family. Miso paste is made with fermented soybean and has a few added ingredients.
The taste of miso paste is quite similar to black bean sauce, but miso paste is a lot denser and more profound when it comes to taste. It also offers a toasty feel when you eat it. At the same time, black bean sauce is comparatively thinner and not as dense.
The values are 1 tablespoon (17g) Miso paste.
Health Benefits of Miso Paste
Miso paste is good at so many things other than its high-calorie count. Here are its health benefits.
- Improves Gut Health
Miso paste is perfect if you want to improve your gut health because the process of fermentation packs the paste with probiotics that are beneficial for gut health.
- Strengthens the Immune System
Miso paste is known to strengthen your immune system. Its fermentation process produces a lot of powerful bacteria and vitamins that help strengthen your immune system.
- Nutritional Benefits
Miso paste fulfills the nutritional needs of people mainly because it has a lot of vitamins that we usually eat through supplements. So, it is better to go for miso paste.
Substitute#5: Tianmian Sauce
Tianmian sauce is a dark brownish and thick paste commonly used as a topping or dip for fried stuff. The flavor of this sauce is sweeter than the others, and it just has a hint of spices.
This sauce is really famous in Chinese and Korean cuisine, and it is just a suitable substitute for black bean sauce. The key ingredients in this sauce are flour and salt, which give it the signature savory flavor, making it the perfect black bean sauce substitute.
The nutritional value of Tianmian sauce is not fixed because different brands have different values so just read the ingredients and nutritional chart at the back of your bottle.
Health Benefits of Tianmian Sauce
There are many health benefits of sweet bean sauce or Tianmian sauce. However, make sure you don’t have diabetes because it contains a higher sugar concentration.
- Rich in Vitamins
Tianmian sauce is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a perfect substitute in all black bean sauce recipes.
- Suppresses Appetite
It might be a newer benefit for you. Tianmian suppresses your appetite mainly because it is made with soybean, often added to meals to make people feel fuller.
Wrapping it Up
If you think that black bean sauce is not for you, you might be right, and that is why we listed some of the most acceptable black bean sauce substitutes you can find out there quickly. Just make sure to go through the nutritional values to know what you are consuming.
Also, all of our black bean sauce alternatives contain some delicious ingredients, and they offer multiple health benefits. So, go for whichever you think suits you. I personally love oyster sauce because its flavor is subtle but quite similar to black bean sauce.