I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of Golden Mountain sauce substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured that I’ve got you covered.
The best Golden Mountain sauce substitutes are Maggi seasoning and a mixture of soy sauce + sugar + broth. Other ready-made condiments to try are Worcestershire and oyster sauce. MSG powder will give you pure umami. But if you want something different, go with mushroom powder or yeast extract.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I whipped up a batch of Thai fried rice to put different Golden Mountain sauce substitutes to the test.
Golden Mountain sauce is a Thai seasoning sauce made from fermented soybeans. It has a salty flavor, subtle sweetness, and lots of umami goodness to make your dishes super tasty.
Here’s what I tested and the verdicts:
|Substitutes||How to Substitute||Verdict|
|Maggi seasoning||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Soy sauce + sugar + chicken or vegetable stock||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Worcestershire sauce||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Oyster sauce||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|MSG powder||1 tbsp Golden Mountain sauce = 1 tsp MSG powder||8/10|
|Mushroom powder||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Yeast extract||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
Common uses for Golden Mountain sauce and their best substitutes
Here are some common use cases for Golden Mountain sauce and the best substitutes for those situations:
- Stir-fries, rice, and noodle dishes: Try using Maggi seasoning, soy sauce + sugar + broth, or oyster sauce. You can also use MSG powder but remember to only add a pinch.
- Gravies, glazes, sauces, and vinaigrettes: Try using Maggi seasoning, soy sauce + sugar + broth, Worcestershire sauce, or oyster sauce. Avoid using mushroom powder for vinaigrettes because it’s better suited for cooked applications.
- Soups and stews: Try using Maggi seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, or MSG powder.
Maggi seasoning is my go-to alternative to Golden Mountain sauce.
It’s made from hydrolyzed vegetable protein, which is packed with lots of umami that give Maggi a flavor similar to Golden Mountain sauce.
The only difference I could tell was Maggi tasted a bit meatier and richer than Golden Mountain sauce.
And despite it having Swiss roots, Maggi seasoning is popular worldwide and is even a staple in Asian cuisine.
A few drops were all I needed to take my fried rice from drab to fab!
How to substitute: Replace Golden Mountain sauce in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with Maggi seasoning.
Need more ideas? Check out my Maggi seasoning and sauce substitutes article.
Soy sauce + sugar + chicken or vegetable broth
Can’t make a grocery run to hunt for Golden Mountain sauce?
Simply combine soy sauce, sugar, and chicken or vegetable broth to create a sweet-savory, umami-rich concoction that’s remarkably close to the real deal.
And why not have some fun with it? Toss in garlic, hot sauce, or lemon to make your homemade sauce truly your own.
For a gluten-free alternative, swap out the soy sauce for tamari or liquid aminos, but remember to reduce or skip the sugar, as these options are already on the sweeter side.
You can also use sweet soy sauce or one of its alternatives. The caveat is that it’s even sweeter than the options above. So only do this if you’re happy with extra sweetness in your dish.
Pssst… you can even make a big batch and store it in a mason jar inside your fridge so you’ll always have this emergency substitute when needed.
How to substitute: Replace Golden Mountain sauce in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and vegetable or chicken broth.
Dare to be different with Worcestershire sauce, a British condiment that offers a unique spin on Golden Mountain sauce.
Its salty-sweet flavor profile and umami punch make it a suitable substitute, even if it hails from a different culinary tradition.
The only catch is its prominent tangy undertones, which I actually enjoyed because it gave my fried rice a different twist.
But if you prefer not to have this added flavor, you can easily offset it with a dash of sugar, resulting in a well-rounded and intriguing taste.
How to substitute: Replace Golden Mountain sauce in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with Worcestershire sauce.
This classic Chinese condiment packs a punch with its salty-sweet flavor, making it a great alternative to Golden Mountain sauce.
Though you might expect a fishy taste, oyster sauce surprises you with its rich, velvety texture and prominent umami kick.
And the big plus for oyster sauce is it’s widely available in grocery stores, so you can easily pick up a bottle.
I added this straight into my fried rice while cooking, but you may need to thin it out with water if you want to use it as a dipping sauce.
How to substitute: Replace Golden Mountain sauce in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with oyster sauce.
When it comes to MSG powder, you’re tapping into the heart of umami itself.
This potent powder may taste only salty on its own, but it works wonders in transforming dishes with a mouthwatering savory, meaty twist, much like Golden Mountain sauce.
And don’t worry about those saying MSG is unsafe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has debunked this myth, so you can use this substitute in moderation, worry-free.
And you don’t need much with this substitute. A pinch goes a long way in flavoring your dishes!
How to substitute: 1 tbsp Golden Mountain sauce = 1 tsp MSG powder
Mushroom powder is a good natural substitute for Golden Mountain sauce.
It’s made from dried mushrooms, which have a more concentrated earthy, umami flavor than fresh mushrooms.
You can purchase mushroom powder at most grocery or wellness stores, but I prefer making my own.
It’s an easy process, plus this gives you the freedom to customize your blend.
I especially love combining dried shiitake and porcini mushrooms for a rich, earthy taste.
Pro tip: Add the mushroom powder at the beginning of cooking – it needs to be heated to maximize and release its flavor.
How to substitute: 1 tbsp Golden Mountain sauce = ½ tbsp mushroom powder
Yeast extract might sound like an odd choice as a substitute for Golden Mountain sauce, but trust me, it works wonders in a pinch.
These extracts, such as Vegemite or Marmite, deliver an intensely salty umami flavor that takes your dishes up a notch.
And if you’re craving a rich, beefy essence, give Bovril a try!
Pro-tip: since yeast extracts can be pretty potent, start with a small amount, taste, and adjust to your preference.
How to substitute: Replace Golden Mountain sauce in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with your chosen yeast extract.
Other substitutes to consider
The suggestions above are my top picks as substitutes for Golden Mountain sauce, but here are other options you can consider using if you already have them:
- Lovage – a natural substitute for Golden Mountain sauce. It’s often called Maggi plant because its flavor is like Maggi seasoning, which is very similar to Golden Mountain sauce.
- Fish sauce – not an exact flavor match for golden mountain sauce, but it’s a decent substitute in a pinch. It has salty, umami notes that’ll add a depth of flavor to your dishes, but you may need to adjust the salt content in your recipe with this substitute.
- Miso paste – this Japanese condiment is loaded with umami goodness. The safest option is white miso for a milder funk and a hint of sweetness. But you can also try red miso for a saltier twist. And if you’re avoiding soybeans, try looking for chickpea miso.
- No substitute – golden mountain sauce is mainly used as a flavor enhancer, so you can skip it and amp up the salt content in your recipe. The dish won’t change structurally. But you’ll probably notice a tad less flavor.
Avoid using shrimp paste
This condiment is a staple in Asian cuisine and is made from finely chopped shrimp that’s been fermented.
It’s salty and chock-full of umami goodness, but it also comes with a prominent fishy taste that may only suit some palates (and can easily overpower your dishes).
11 Best Golden Mountain Sauce Substitutes
- 1 tbsp maggi seasoning
- 1 tbsp soy sauce + sugar + chicken/vegetable broth mixture, adjust to taste
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp msg powder, adjust to taste
- ½ tbsp mushroom powder
- 1 tbsp yeast extract
- Cook your meal according to the recipe.
- Add your chosen Golden Mountain sauce substitute at the appropriate cooking time.
- Mix until thoroughly combined and continue with the recipe.