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The 5 Best Substitutes for XO Sauce

XO sauce is a popular condiment found in many Asian dishes.

Made with dried shrimp and a blend of spices, it’s got a salty, umami flavor and is often used as a dip for dumplings or noodles.

You can find it at any local grocery store (usually in the Asian food aisle), fairly inexpensive.

For those of you who live in the U.S., finding XO sauce can be difficult due to its popularity in Asian cuisine.

But don’t fret.

There are plenty of substitutes you can use to get that same umami flavor without having to go out and buy it from the store.

These five substitutes will give your dish just what it needs without all the hassle.

Read on to find out how to make your favorite dish taste better than ever before.

What’s XO Sauce?

what xo sauce

Many people don’t know about XO Sauce because it’s not something you see every day.

When used in Asian dishes, this condiment is often described as having a blend of dried shrimp, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper.

It looks similar to black bean sauce, but most often, the two sauces are noticeably different in taste.

One of the most common misconceptions is that it’s a hot sauce.

However, XO sauce is used as an accompaniment to dishes such as stir-fries or braised pork belly noodles.

It resembles soy sauce and hoisin inconsistency but tastes saltier than both sauces, with hints of cloves and cinnamon giving it its distinct flavor profile as well as a touch of heat from chili peppers for those who want some spice on their dish.

This sauce is very popular in the cuisine of Hong Kong.

It’s most commonly used with Cantonese noodles and added to the broth.

The most famous brand of XO sauce is called Lee Kum Kee.

So when you see that name listed as an ingredient, that’s what you will use for the recipe listed in the book (even if you are not making Asian food).

If you cannot find XO sauce at your local grocery store, consider any ingredient that might have similar umami flavors.

The sauce can be used as a base for countless Asian recipes, but it’s not just solely used for Asian dishes as it was originally.

You can find XO sauce in any authentic supermarket and specialty Asian shops.

XO sauce comes in handy when you want to add a little extra punch of flavor to your meals.

5 Best Substitutes for XO Sauce

If you can’t find XO Sauce in your local grocery store, you have a few options.

You can try a few different store-bought brands of hot sauce.

Several come close to the flavor of XO Sauce, but none are the same.

If you want something similar to XO, you should try:

If you’re looking for something less spicy and more like a traditional tomato-based hot sauce, try:

You can also whip up your version of XO by following these easy recipes:

1 – Teriyaki Sauce

teriyaki sauce

One of the most popular sauces available today is the teriyaki sauce.

It’s popular because of its versatility and flavor.

This sauce is derived from Japan and contains soy sauce, mirin, and sake.

This sauce is used for cooking meat such as chicken or beef.

It may also be used for vegetables and rice.

It’s important to note that the ingredients are combined in a pot, heated together, and then cooled down before consumption.

When using this sauce, many people enjoy marinating the meat before cooking.

Some individuals put the meat in the pot and cook it with the sauce.

In addition, this popular sauce may be used for various meals.

It’s available in a bottle or can, so all you need to do is heat it and serve it with your food.

2 – Oyster Sauce

oyster sauce

If you want to add some flavor to your food, oyster sauce is a perfect choice.

It’s a type of thick sauce that contains oysters and other ingredients.

This sauce is used in Chinese cooking from soybeans, brine, water, sugar, salt, alcohol, and yeast.

The sauce is dark brown. Oyster sauces are used for anything from stir-fries to fried rice dishes.

When cooking with this type of sauce, you may need to add a little bit of water if you want it to be thinner.

If you’re not going to use it right away, you should store it in the refrigerator.

The sauce is also rich in protein and amino acids.

3 – Hoisin Sauce

hoisin sauce

If you’re looking for a sweet and spicy sauce, hoisin is a perfect choice.

This sauce is used in Chinese cooking, especially when preparing chicken.

It’s rich in flavor and tastes good on many different types of food.

Hoisin is made from soybeans, garlic, vinegar, sugar, red chili peppers, and other spices.

The sauce is usually sold in a bottle or can and can sometimes be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store.

When using this type of sauce, it’s important to know that a little bit goes a long way.

Depending on what you’re using it for, you should try to find seven or eight on your food until your dish is covered.

This will help give your dish the flavor it needs without adding too much sauce.

If you cook an Asian dish, you should try to find this sauce.

It’s a good substitute for XO sauce, which is a bit more expensive.

4 – Sweet and Sour Sauce

sweet and sour sauce

For those of you who love to eat Chinese food, you should try to find sweet and sour sauce.

This sauce is used in many dishes, including chicken, pork, and beef.

It’s also used in many different types of stir fry recipes.

The sweet and sour sauce is made from tomato ketchup, vinegar, sugar, and spices.

The ingredients are usually mixed in a bowl until they’re smooth.

After this point, the sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you’re looking for a substitute for sweet and sour sauce, you should try using ketchup or chili sauce instead.

Both of these sauces are easy to find at your local grocery store or supermarket.

They can also be found in the condiment section of your local fast-food restaurant.

5 – Sweet Chili Sauce

sweet chili sauce

Sweet chili sauce is a popular condiment used on many different types of Asian dishes.

It’s often served with fried rice, seafood, chicken, and beef.

It’s also used in many different types of stir fry recipes.

Sweet chili sauce is made from vinegar, sugar, and chili peppers.

The ingredients are usually mixed in a bowl until they’re smooth.

After this point, the sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

It’s important to note that sweet chili sauce is different from the hot chili sauce.

Hot chili sauce is made from vinegar, sugar, chilies, and spices.

It’s usually served with fried rice, seafood, and beef dishes.

Sweet chili sauce can be found in the condiment section of your local grocery store or supermarket.

It’s also available at most Asian food stores.

Conclusion

XO sauce can be made for little cost, yet the flavor has been known to be on par with some of the much more expensive condiments.

If you’re tired of paying a fortune for some common sauces at your local store, don’t hesitate to make them yourself.

You’ll soon find out much better prices and a cheaper cost per ounce.

That being said, these substitutes for common store-bought condiments and sauces can help you save some money.

So, what are some other great sauces and condiments that can be made at home? Feel free to comment and share.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for XO Sauce

The 5 Best Substitutes for XO Sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Sweet Chili Sauce

Instructions

  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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