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30 March 2020

This homemade hoisin sauce recipe is easy to whip together with common pantry ingredients. It’s sweet and salty and you can make it as spicy as you want it.

Are you a fan of hoisin sauce? I am. There is something special about this wonder sauce used to add big flavor to Chinese dishes and more around the world. You’ll find it most often in stir fries but it’s great as a dipping sauce or as a glaze.

While there are many ways to make it, hoisin sauce is usually made with fermented soybean paste, but I’m sharing here a quick and easy version that uses peanut butter instead, which is easier to find, though I do offer variations in the Recipe Notes section.

You can very easily find hoisin sauce in the store, but with your own homemade hoisin sauce recipe, you can whip it together anytime you want. Plus, you can control what goes into it, like extra spicy elements!

The homemade version is so much better.

Let’s talk about how we make easy homemade hoisin sauce, shall we?

Hoisin Sauce in a bowl, ready to serve

Hoisin Sauce Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce – low sodium is fine for this
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter – Or try it with soybean paste (like Korean doenjang), tahini, or black bean sauce (peanut butter is more readily available and easier)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced – 1 teaspoon garlic powder is good instead
  • 2 tablespoons honey – you can use brown sugar instead
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder – use more as desired, I like a bit more for extra flavor, plus a little black pepper. This is a key ingredient for me, though you can easily omit it and it’s still very good.
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha – or use any Chinese hot sauce, red chili sauce, chili paste or try your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch – this is a thickening agent

How to Make Hoisin Sauce – the Recipe Method

  1. First, add all of the ingredients to a small pot, except for the cornstarch – soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter (or black bean sauce or tahini), garlic, honey, Chinese Five Spice Powder and sriracha (or hot sauce).
  2. Heat to medium heat and warm through, stirring, until the ingredients combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water, until the cornstarch dissolves.
  4. Pour the cornstarch and water mixture into the hoisin sauce pot and whisk until well combined.
  5. Heat for another 1-2 minutes, until the hoisin sauce thickens.
  6. Serve it up as needed.

Boom! Done! You have just made homemade hoisin sauce. Easy enough, isn’t it? Give it a taste. So much better than store bought hoisin sauce, isn’t it?

I love this recipe.

Hoisin Sauce in a bowl with a spoon

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Peanut Butter Substitutes. As mentioned, fermented soybean paste is more readily used to make homemade hoisin sauce, but peanut butter is an excellent substitute for the American cook. Peanut butter is a great thickener and flavor builder. Tahini is great as well. Try it out with other thick pastes, like Korean gochujang or harissa for an interesting version. The paste used will affect the final color of your hoisin sauce.
  • Heat Factor. Mild, though you can spice it up with more sriracha sauce, chili paste, or the addition of spicy chili flakes.

Hoisin Sauce in a bowl

5 Ways to Use Hoisin Sauce – Serving Ideas

  1. Dipping Sauce. Serve it on the side in a small bowl with potstickers, dumplings, sushi, or lettuce wraps.
  2. Meat Glaze. Brush it over fish or chicken on the grill during cooking, then just at the end for big flavor. Use it like a Chinese barbecue sauce.
  3. Soup Enhancer. Swirl a few tablespoons into soups as they cook for a Chinese flair.
  4. Noodle Bowls. Swirl hoisin sauce into brothy noodles bowls like pho or ramen for a tasty spin.
  5. Stir Fries. Add a couple spoons of hoisin sauce at the end of your stir fry for a sweet and salty blast of flavor, like this Hoisin Chicken Stir Fry I whipped together.

Hoisin Chicken made with my homemade Hoisin sauce recipe

That’s it my friends. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you make it, and how you wind up tweaking the recipe. I’d love to hear it! Spice it up!

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Hoisin Chicken in a pan made with my homemade Hoisin sauce recipe

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Hoisin Sauce Recipe
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4.86 from 7 votes

Easy Homemade Hoisin Sauce Recipe

This homemade hoisin sauce recipe is easy to whip together with common pantry ingredients. It's sweet and salty and you can make it as spicy as you want it.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Main Course, sauce
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: condiment, dipping sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, sriracha
Servings: 16 tablespoons
Calories: 25kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (Or try it with tahini or black bean sauce - peanut butter is more readily available and easier)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced - 1 teaspoon garlic powder is good instead
  • 2 tablespoons honey (you can use brown sugar instead)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder use more as desired
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha (or use any Chinese hot sauce, red chili sauce, chili paste or try your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a small pot, except for the cornstarch.
  • Heat to medium heat and warm through, stirring, until the ingredients combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water, until the cornstarch dissolves.
  • Pour the cornstarch and water mixture into the hoisin sauce pot and whisk until well combined.
  • Heat for another 1-2 minutes, until the hoisin sauce thickens.
  • Serve!

Notes

Makes about 1 cup of hoisin sauce.
Heat Factor: Mild, though you can spice it up with more sriracha sauce, chili paste, or the addition of spicy chili flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe

12 comments

  1. Heidi Voss

    5 stars
    I cut back on the soy sauce (made it less salty) and used both honey and brown sugar. Also use Tahini for the rich nuttiness. I added 1 T of our homemade red pepper flakes for extra spice and 2 T of hot sauce. I did not need any of the cornstarch-our local honey is pretty thick. I used this for up two weeks and did a bunch of chicken and veg stir fry. Marinated my chicken in the hoisin and partially steamed my veg before putting in with chicken. Added extra hoisin at the and and over rice or noodles this is just amazing!!! I hate bottled hoisin and I will never buy it again!! Can’t wait to try this on the grill with wings.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent! Sounds wonderful, Heidi! Glad you enjoyed it! Homemade is so much better.

  2. Keith GilbertKeith

    5 stars
    Hi Mike. Thanks for this recipe, just as we wanted some Hoisin sauce. I certainly didn’t need the cornflower as it was already thick and cooled to a very thick paste without it. In fact I had to water it down Could be because I used Tahini and a thick honey. Tasted great.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Keith! Glad you enjoyed it. Great stuff!!

  3. Andrew Morrison

    5 stars
    Hey Mike, loving your recipes and this one!! Home made hoisin sauce, the best ever barbecue meat coating of all time.Thanks a bunch.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hey, Andrew. Thanks so much! Super happy you enjoyed it! I agree, great for bbq!

  4. This looks great, going to give it a try. I love that you have given some substitutions on the ingredients!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sure thing, Peg! Thanks! I hope you enjoy it.

  5. 4 stars
    I intend making this during lockdown for my sons birthday, he loves marinated chicken drumsticks so i plan to use it to baste & bake some for him using this hoisin sauce recipe. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Alice Calandresa

    5 stars
    I plan to use this homemade hoisin sauce. Homemade is the way to go. Love your recipes. Also I’m enjoying your 2 books that you wrote. Thank you

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks so much, Alice! I greatly appreciate it! Let me know if you find a favorite recipe from my books! Take care.

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