Is there anything I can substitute for bean sauce? I can't find it in my grocery store.

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Photo by Lee Harrelson; Styled by Jan Gautro

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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You'll see bean sauce called for in many Asian recipes. It is often sold in the Asian foods section of the grocery store. But if you can't find it, use hoisin sauce in its place. Hoisin is sweeter, so decrease the amount of sugar or honey in the recipe if there is any.

You may also see black bean sauce and chili bean sauce in the store, and you can use either of those in place of Chinese brown bean sauce, although both of these will be a little saltier and the chili bean sauce will be significantly spicier.

Marge Perry
May, 2011
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  1. Enter at least one ingredient