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Is Hoisin Sauce Gluten Free?

Being celiac, or having digestive sensitivities, can get quite tricky. Especially when it comes to eating sauces. But what about hoisin sauce; is it safe? Here is what you have to know.

So, is Hoisin sauce gluten-free? Most hoisin sauce should be gluten-free, as most recipes will contain almost only soybean paste, spices, and other flavorings. However, some brands of hoisin sauce may contain – particularly if any wheat starches are used as a thickener to the sauce.

So, unfortunately, there is not a blanket yes or no statement here.

It means you need to do your due diligence and check the ingredients of each hoisin sauce first.

Whether you check the bottle directly or politely ask at the establishment.

Either way, you’re going to want to check.

For the most part, you should be fine, but you can always be caught out!

Let us now take a closer look at why some hoisin sauce is not gluten-free before turning to why it’s not always a vegan-friendly option!

Does Hoisin Sauce Have Gluten?

Most recipes of hoisin sauce should be naturally gluten-free. However, some recipes include wheat as a means of thickening the sauce. So, whether hoisin sauce has gluten is going to be brand and recipe-specific.

If we look into the general ingredient list of hoisin sauce we will soon see why most hoisin sauce is safe.

Most hoisin sauce is made of:

  • Fermented soybean paste/date/raisin or plum paste.
  • Select spices,
  • Water,
  • Sugar,
  • Salt,
  • Vinegar,
  • Sesame seeds,
  • Soy sauce and
  • Chili peppers
  • Preservatives
  • Colorings
  • Starch*

So as you can see, that’s a pretty safe list.

Unless you’re vegan too of course, in that scenario, hoisin sauce may be off the table too due to the colorings.

That being said, preservatives and colorings and most often found in store-bought bottled sauces, and are not usually an issue for most.

As previously mentioned, where the issue is for some of you reading is the starch component.

That’s what that little * was referencing there up above.

It’s not included in all recipes.

But it is a big caveat to whether a hoisin sauce is safe or not.


Because even in those sauces that contain starch, sometimes it’s a safe starch like rice or sweet potato.

But unfortunately, in some recipes – it’s wheat.

And we all know how problematic wheat can be!

So, you simply have to check each brand carefully.

But hopefully, some of my research below will help you find a gluten-free option.

What Brand Of Hoisin Sauce Is Gluten-Free?

The most popular brands of hoisin sauce that are gluten-free are Kikkoman, Wok Mei, and Sun Luck. Although, most of the major brands sell a gluten-free option of their hoisin sauce.

Of course, I cannot check every brand here. We’d be here all day.#

Thankfully, this Amazon search will show you a list of all the major gluten-free brands.

And hopefully, now you know how to check to see whether a regular bottle of hoisin sauce is gluten-free or not.

You surely know this already but wheat flour is what you are looking for here.

And look carefully, it can be listed anywhere on the ingredient list.

It can be at the bottom, or in fine print too.

That’s why it’s generally advised to contact the company directly first.

And while this may seem like a bit of work, you should only have to do it once.

And the company is legally required to provide you with such information.


Hoisin sauce is mostly gluten-free.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is you can be caught out.

Even by the major brands.

This means you need to check each brand carefully.

Or opt for their gluten-free option. That’s always preferable.

Like this Kikkoman gluten-free option, that you can get for a great price on Amazon.

If you’re eating out, it does mean asking the staff – or forgoing it altogether, unfortunately.

But we all know – when it comes to gluten, it really is not worth the risk!

Related Questions

Does Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce Have Gluten?

Regular Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce does contain gluten – wheat flour is listed as an ingredient on the product packaging. However, Lee Kum Kee has created and do sell a gluten-free option of their product that is available to purchase.

Is Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce Gluten-Free?

Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce does not contain gluten – although they do sell a gluten-free hoisin sauce option which is preferable to purchase and consume.

Is Dynasty Hoisin Sauce Gluten-Free?

Dynasty Hoisin Sauce is gluten-free, as confirmed by the company.

Wondering what other sauces contain gluten? Then the following guides may be for you: