Eel sauce VS Hoisin Sauce – 6 Big Differences You Never know

The two dark black sauces, Hoisin sauce, and Unagi or eel sauce, are very much popular for their taste and usage. But many people are confused about whether “is hoisin sauce the same as eel sauce?” – as hoisin sauce can be substituted for Unagi or eel sauce. 

Today I am going clear your all doubt about these two popular condiments and give you a detailed view of the difference between eel sauce and hoisin sauce and the similarities, and when to use them.

So, without further due, let’s start a big fight of Unagi sauce or Eel sauce VS Hoisin Sauce.

Is hoisin sauce the same as eel sauce?

No, Hoisin sauce and Eel sauce are not the same but similar in their taste, use, and appearance. That’s why most people are confused about them.

Eel Sauce is made with soy sauce and Sugar base, so the recipe is reminiscent of Hoisin sauce. It’s even possible to add hot sauces. Hoisin Sauce may also be used as eel sauce, but it tastes much more powerful.

Hoisin is an eel-like condiment containing soy and sugar. The sauce isn’t infused with mirin like Teriyakis. Instead, vinegar, rice wines, roasted sesame peppers, garlic, and sometimes hot sauce are used. It has no similar tastes to the eel sauce. 

The taste is strong with more ingredients. Hoisie. Hoisin Sauce consists of soy sauce with a sugar base comparable to Eels Sauce. 

Nevertheless, the product does not resemble Mirin but is composed of rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and pepper.

Although, you can use eel sauce and hoisin sauce interchangeably in some dishes. I’ll tell you how to use two sauces in the shuffle.

Eel Sauce VS Hoisin Sauce- A Quick Table 

DifferenceHoisin SauceEel or Unagi sauce
OriginCantonese cuisineJapanese Cuisine
Main Ingredientsfermented soybeans paste, fennel, red chili peppers, and garlic. Vinegar, 5-spice, and sugar Soysauce, sake, mirin, and sugar
Tastesweet-salty with a spicy aftertastesweet-salty umami 
TextureThick Thicker than Hoisin
AppearanceDark colorMore Dark color
UsesGlaze for meat, stir-fry, noodles dishes, dipping saucemarinate, Drizzle it over grilled eel or any meat, fish, BBQ dishes, stir-fry and dipping sauce

What is the difference between Unagi or Eel Sauce and Hoisin Sauce? Unagi sauce vs. hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce looks the same as eel sauce except for a soy sauce base and sweetener. There is no mirin, but it contains dozens of ingredients like garlic and pepper. The sauce is served too! 

However, Hoisin sauce is used in the same applications as eels sauce, but the taste is much stronger.

the recipes made with the help of hoisin sauce and the unique taste is never altered

What is Eel Sauce? The Eel sauce origins

There has been little knowledge of how eels came to be made. I am certain this is Japanese as it includes ingredients often found in Japanese dishes. 

Most likely, this was when cooks made a recipe for grilling the eels. The mixture was widely accepted as providing the best flavor of the eel and eventually became the eel sauce. 

In Japanese, eels are known as “unagi no tare.” If you are preparing eels, you may use the sauce in your sauce. It was because it has been understood and goes unmentioned.

What flavor is eel sauce?

Eel sauce contains several varieties of flavors, most often sweet, salty umami, or smoky. The sweet taste is produced through soy sauce.

What’s another name for eel sauce?

Eel sauce is a soy sauce that is made in Japan and has a thick and sweet taste that is very sweet. Historically this is commonly used for grilled eels and different dishes featuring cooked eels, including “unagi” and ” unagi no tare and Nitsume.

How to use eel sauce?

Eels sauce has several uses and varies in its use. This ingredient is usually used when making sushi, especially eel-filled variants. 

A good snack, this dish is excellent served with fish or chicken. You can even make eel sauce for grilled tomato salads stuffed with mozzarella and unagi sauce. What’s it like to make something?

What is the purpose of hoisin sauce?

Hoisin sauce is a delicious Asian vegetable stir-frying sauce that is commonly incorporated with cooking sauces and grilling products. Often used in many Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, it is sometimes called Chinese barbecue sauce.

What is the closest sauce to hoisin sauce?

Ready-made alternatives to hoisin sauces. Soy sauce and Tamari sauce also make excellent additions to soup and stir fry dishes. Barbecue sauce can be an excellent substitution for meat dishes. Use Duck or Orange sauce to dip. 

Is it possible to substitute hoisin sauce for eel sauce?

Eel sauce is one of Japan’s best condiments, and be careful of its slang names. It lacks eel flavor; this sauce will please any picky eater. If eel sauce doesn’t exist, teriyaki, galbi, or hoisin may be a good alternative. 

Combine sake, mirin sugar, and soybean sauce for a fast substitute for supermarket canned eel sauce. This authentic homemade recipe is delicious without unnecessary ingredients and contains no artificial flavored ingredients.

Read More- Teriyaki sauce vs Korean bbq sauce


Q1. Is There A Difference Between Unagi And Eel Sauce?

Yeah. This word has several different meanings. Due to its historical use in barbecue eel and meals, which include grill eel, unagi sauce is generally called eel sauce.

Q2. What Is Japanese Sauce Made Of?

Citrus juice (traditionally a Japanese citrus variety known as yuzu in Japan), rice vinegar, and mirin — are often known for bringing out the sweetness. Tamari ponzu Shyu (also known as ponzu) katsuobushi.

Q3. How long does eel sauce last?

The store-bought sauce will last three weeks when the eel sauce is open. The homemade variety should remain in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 days after it was removed from the refrigerator. If your diet is limited, you can freeze it to store it for longer.

Q4. Where can I buy unagi sauce?

Unagi sauce is readily accessible to most Asian supermarkets or other major retail stores, including Walmart. If it is difficult to find the bottle you live in, you could search for them online.

Q5. Does eel sauce taste fishy?

Almost everyone in the eel sauce market doesn’t eat eels and therefore has no fishy taste. Some products have eels, so check labels before buying to avoid the fish flavors in them.

Q6. How can I make unagi sauce without mirin?

If Mirin isn’t there, you may use Japanese rice wine instead. Mix 1-2 cups dry white wine with 1/3 teaspoon white sugar for easy replacement.

Q7. What is Japanese sweet sauce?

Its sugar content compared to sake is much lower (14%) The Japanese cuisine is known for use in numerous foods, including soy sauce (both ingredients in homemade teriyaki sauce).

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