Is Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce Vegan 2023? All Flavors Reviewed

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Hoisin sauce is an essential ingredient in many Asian dishes, and Lee Kum Kee is one of the most renowned brands in the market. It is a savory, sweet and pungent sauce that has its origins in Chinese cuisine and is now widely used throughout Asia and beyond. But, is Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce vegan?

Lee Kum Kee Garlic Hoisin Sauce is vegan because it doesn’t contain any ingredients sourced from animals. The other flavors contains natural flavors, which could contain ingredients derived from animals.

Below is a table showing Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce flavors and its vegan status.

FlavorVegan Status
Lee Kum Kee Hoisin SauceDietary vegan, contains Red 40.
Lee Kum Kee Garlic Hoisin SauceVegan.
Lee Kum Kee Lemongrass Chili Flavored Hoisin SauceMaybe, contains Natural Flavors.
Lee Kum Kee Lime Cilantro Flavored Hoisin SauceMaybe, contains Natural Flavors.

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce Ingredients

Below is a list of ingredients from all the flavors that I could find.

  • Acetic Acid
  • Caramel Color
  • Chili Peppers
  • Citric Acid
  • Dehydrated Cilantro Leaves
  • Dehydrated Garlic
  • Fermented Soybean Paste
  • Garlic
  • Lemongrass Puree
  • Lime Juice Concentrate
  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Natural Flavors
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Red 40
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Safflower Oil
  • Salt
  • Salted Chili Peppers
  • Sesame Paste
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Soy Flour
  • Soy Sauce
  • Soybeans
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Sweet Potato Powder
  • Water
  • Wheat Flour
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Yeast Extract


As always I’ve highlighted the ingredients that we need to take a closer look at.

Questionable Ingredients


Sugar is a tricky ingredient for vegans because there is in situation where the sugar could be classified as non-vegan. The reason for this is the fact that bone char might have been used in the production process. The only sugar types that is effect by this is cane sugar, leaving beet sugar completely vegan.

Before cane sugar is used in product it’s often refined and in this refining process the sugar is also bleached. A common method is to use bone char from dead cows and this does not align with veganism.

Natural Flavors

Natural flavors is an umbrella term, which means that it often consists of several ingredients and the ingredients are rarely disclosed on the ingredients label, making this ingredient highly questionable for vegans.

Companies often used natural flavors to hide their unique ingredients for flavors and with this the source of the ingredients are also hidden, so the ingredient could be derived from animals and just by reading the ingredients label you would never know this.

So always be careful when it comes to natural flavors and if you want to be 100% sure then contact the company.

Artificial Colors

Artificial colors is a highly controversial ingredient within the vegan community and the reason for this is the animal testing that have been brought out to the public. We know that the testing has been done in the past, but there is no way to be sure that it’s still not being conducted, so many vegans tends to stay away from these colors.

Red 40 can be found in the original flavor or Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce, making this sauce unfit for ethical vegans. However, vegans that are mainly eating a plant-based diet for dietary reasons, might still consume these colors.


It’s great that at least one flavor of Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce is vegan. More flavors could also be vegan-friendly, but they contain natural flavors, which we all know could contain ingredients sourced from animals. So always be on the lookout for these types of flavorings because they won’t disclose in they contain animal-derived ingredients on the ingredients label.

Thanks for reading, take care!

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