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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Sweet Soy Glaze

Ready to kick your dishes up a notch without sweet soy glaze? No sweat.

We’ve all faced that moment—standing in the kitchen, craving that perfect glaze, and boom, it’s nowhere to be found. Not in the fridge. Not in the pantry. Nowhere. Stressful, right? Wrong.

Because guess what? We’ve got your back with some genius swaps that’ll save your dish and maybe even make it better.

Think of this as your guide toditching the oh-no-I-don’t-have-it blues. We’re talking easy, flavorful alternatives that you probably already have lying around.

And the best part? Each one adds its own unique twist to recipes that call for sweet soy glaze.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get creative in the kitchen together.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sweet Soy Glaze

If you’re looking for alternatives to traditional sweet soy glaze, there are plenty of options.

From savory and spicy sauces to thick and sticky glazes, these five substitutes will make any dish delicious.

1 – Tianmian Sauce, AKA Sweet Bean Sauce

Tianmian sauce is a classic Chinese condiment made from sesame, garlic, chili peppers, and sugar.

It has an intense umami flavor with a hint of sweetness that’s balanced perfectly with the heat of the chili.

The dense, syrup-like consistency of Tianmian makes it perfect for adding to stir-fries, marinades, or dipping sauces for dumplings.

A great way to use Tianmian sauce as a substitute for sweet soy glaze is to combine it with some light soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine or sherry, then add in fresh ginger and garlic to give it more depth of flavor.

With just a few simple adjustments, this classic Chinese condiment can be adapted to your own recipe and bring delicious complexity to any meal.

2 – Soy Sauce and Honey

Soy sauce and honey are a unique combination that many have come to enjoy.

This tangy sweet, and savory flavor is perfect on spareribs, chicken wings, and even as a marinade for peppery steak.

The combination creates an umami taste with a distinct texture.

As the honey glazes over whatever food it’s put on, it gives the soy sauce a richer taste, deepening its sweetness and adding a glaze that’s quite unique.

For cooks looking to substitute this unique ingredient, they can prepare a simple sweet soy glaze with equal parts of soy sauce and brown sugar.

With some added garlic powder and pepper flakes, you, too, can create the delightful flavor of honey combined with soy sauce in your next meal.

3 – Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is an iconic Chinese condiment made from oysters and spices.

Traditionally, it is produced by slowly simmering oysters in water for a long period of time until the liquid reduces and thickens.

Oyster sauce has a dark brown color and a rich umami flavor with just the perfect hint of sweetness.

It is not overly salty, yet it has a slightly salty taste that’s well balanced with the sweetness.

The texture of this versatile condiment is somewhere between syrup and gravy.

Its use is mainly to add special flavors to stir-fries, although it can also be used as a marinade or glaze on seafood dishes like grilled salmon or shrimp.

As an alternative to sweet soy glaze, try using the oyster sauce for a more flavorful and aromatic dish with added umami every time.

4 – Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a thick, fragrant, and sweet brown sauce made from soybeans.

It originated in China and is often used to flavor dishes such as stir-fries or barbecued meats.

It has a syrupy texture that adds depth of flavor to a dish and gives it an extra savory kick.

The distinct taste of hoisin sauce can be likened to sweet chili sauce, and it has complex, deep flavors that include soybean paste, garlic, sesame oil, Chinese five-spice powder, and sugar syrup.

A perfect substitute for sweet soy glaze is hoisin sauce – simply mix one teaspoon of sugar into one tablespoon of hoisin for the same sweetness but with a more intense flavor profile.

5 – Ponzu with Honey

Ponzu with honey is a delectable combination of Japanese ingredients that is sure to bring delicious flavor to any dish.

Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce that typically has the juice of lemons, limes, and oranges.

Honey lends sweetness and complexity to complete the Ponzu umami-rich flavor profile.

The result is a thicker sauce than regular ponzu, with a luxurious texture and subtle sweetness followed by a slight tartness.

Unlike sweet soy glaze, the depth of flavor in ponzu with honey means you don’t need to use it as much; just a touch can elevate your dishes’ taste.

Feel free to try this tasty combination of meat or vegetables for an extra boost of flavor.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sweet Soy Glaze

Sweet soy glaze adds a delightful touch to various dishes. If you're running low or looking for alternatives, explore our selection of the 5 best substitutes to keep your recipes flavorful.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Tianmian Sauce AKA Sweet Bean Sauce
  • Soy Sauce and Honey
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Ponzu with Honey


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Sweet Soy Glaze
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