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Vietnamese Soybean Sauce (Tương Hột) in a jar.

We are excited to introduce Vietnamese Soybean Sauce (Tương Hột)!

This soybean sauce is an amazing condiment that is umami-packed and perfect for adding saltiness, sweetness, and complex flavors to basically any dish!

I first discovered Tương Hột in Vietnam a couple of years ago in a delicious tofu dish (recipe coming soon!). As soon as I tasted it, I knew I had to share a recipe for it!

Soybeans, palm sugar, rice flour, and soy sauce.


Tương Hột is a Vietnamese condiment made from fermented soybeans. It is very salty and a bit sweet, depending on the version. This condiment is used to make many different dipping sauces but is also used in stews, stir-fries, and braised dishes.

The Vietnamese soybean sauce tends to be quite sweet compared to the Chinese versions I tried, which contained very little sugar. Here, I’m sharing the Vietnamese-inspired version.

Soybeans soaking in a bowl of water.


Traditionally, Tương Hột is prepared by fermenting whole soybeans in salt, sugar, and water for at least 30 days (up to a few months) under the sun. Here, I am sharing an easier version of this sauce that doesn’t require fermentation. It’s just as good and much quicker to prepare!

First, you want to soak the soybeans overnight. The next day, cook the beans until perfectly tender. I used my Instant Pot and pressure-cooked for 50 minutes. If cooking on the stove, you might have to cook it for up to 2 hours or until the beans are soft.

Whole soybeans in a skillet with soy sauce and sugar.

Next, simmer soy sauce with sugar and some of the soybean cooking liquid. Note: If using Vietnamese soy sauce (Maggi), add a tablespoon of salt. If using regular Japanese soy sauce, simply omit the salt.

Once the sugar has dissolved, add the cooked soybeans and simmer for another 5 minutes. To slightly thicken the sauce, add a couple tablespoons of rice flour and stir until thickened. Transfer to clean jars and let it sit at room temperature for at least 7 days to let the flavors merge, and the soybeans soak up the sauce. That’s it!

Vietnamese Soybean Sauce (Tương Hột) in a jar.


  • Add to stir-fries: a couple of tablespoons will bring umami, saltiness, as well as sweetness.
  • Use it to make spring rolls dipping sauce: Purée 1/4 cup of soybean sauce, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 clove of garlic, and 1/2 chili pepper in a blender. Add 2 tbsp chopped peanuts and a tablespoon of water to thin it out.
  • Dilute 2-3 tbsp with about the same amount of water and add to stews.

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Vietnamese Soybean Sauce in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
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Vietnamese Soybean Sauce (Tương Hột)

Vietnamese Soybean Sauce (Tương Hột)

5 from 2 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Vietnamese-inspired soybean sauce that is umami-packed, salty and a bit sweet. Perfect to add complex flavors to any dish!
Prep Time : 1 hour
Resting Time : 7 days
Total Time : 7 days 1 hour
Servings 2 jars (about 1.5 cup)
Calories 160 kcal


  • 1/2 cup dry soybeans soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup soybean cooking water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4.5 ounces sugar (I used palm sugar)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp salt (only if using Vietnamese soy sauce, omit if using regular Japanese soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp rice flour


  • Drain the soybeans and transfer to a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Cover with water (about 8 cups) and close with the lid. Pressure cook for about 50 minutes. The soybeans should be tender, if they are still chewy cook for another 10 minutes. If you don't have a pressure cooker, boil the soybeans for about 2 hours, checking from time to time until tender.
  • Reserve about 1/2 cup of the soybeans cooking water and drain the soybeans.
  • Pour the reserved soybean cooking water, soy sauce, and sugar into a large saucepan or deep skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  • Add the soybeans and let it simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered. In the meantime, prepare 2 clean jars.
  • Dissolve the 2 tbsp of rice flour in 2 tbsp of water and add to the skillet. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly until the sauce has slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool about 30 minutes before transferring to the jars.
  • Close the jars with the lid and let them sit for at least 7 days, or up to 14 days at room temperature. This will allow the flavors to merge and the soybeans to soak up the flavors of the sauce.
  • Keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Use in stir-fries, stews, and dipping sauce!


Serving: 70 g (1/4 cup) | Calories: 160 kcal | Carbohydrates: 23 g | Protein: 8.6 g | Fat: 4.2 g | Fiber: 2.1 g | Sugar: 15.7 g
Course : Condiment
Cuisine : Vietnamese
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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Thank you for this recipe. I long to try making it, but I don’t have whole soybeans at this time. I do have tempeh though. Do you think there is a way to make this dish using tempeh instead of whole soybeans? If not, no worries. Thought I’d ask just in case.

Hi! Looks great I look forward to making this.
Quick question though : I don’t have any soy sauce in the house… ever I only use tamari. Should I add salt? Thanks

Of course! I meant should I add salt TO tamari… 😉

Do you really mean 50 minutes? That’s an exceptionally long time in the pressure cooker. Well soaked soy beans are ready in 10-15 in a pressure cooler.

5 stars
Excellent. Recette testée avec une teneur en sucre réduite de moitié. Le sucre et moi ne sommes pas amis.
Résultat très intéressant. Nous dégustons ce “condiment “avec des légumes lacto-fermentés, leur acidité se mélange parfaitement avec le goût aigre doux de cette recette.

5 stars
Hi, can I use stevia or other sweetener instead od sugar?

Thank you for the recipe! I actually just tried this in Vietnam and it’s delicious! I’m curious.. how different is the fermented version? Do you have the recipe for the fermented one?

Last edited 2 months ago by Billy