Stop buying hoisin sauce and learn to make a much more delicious version at home! The flavors of homemade hoisin sauce are more complex, savory and delicious enough to use as a stir fry sauce on its own. It’s also very easy to make and ready to serve in 5 minutes!
Homemade Hoisin Sauce
Say yes to homemade hoisin sauce!
In fact, say yes to homemade anything because it’s always better and healthier. Hoisin sauce is one of those mysterious ingredients that always seems to taste better in restaurants. Ben and I will have lunch at our favorite spot in Chinatown and abuse their little container of hoisin sauce. We’ll add a spoonful to noodle soups and use it as a dipping sauce for dumplings and spring rolls.
It’s so good that it prompted me to ask the owner which brand they were using so I could get my hands on a bottle.
“Our hoisin sauce is homemade” he replied. Damn. I guess I won’t be taking these flavors home today.
The biggest difference I noticed between their hoisin sauce and the store bought version is how aggressive in flavor the pre-made one is. Store bought hoisin sauce is way too sweet and salty for my taste whereas the restaurant’s version is much more delicate. It’s savory, a little sweet and nutty – it’s the kind of hoisin sauce I dream about and crave all the time.
With that in mind I did some research online and tried a few homemade hoisin sauce recipes to see if any resembled what I had at the restaurant.
What I found were wonderful recipes that had the perfect balance of sweet and savory and used healthier, more wholesome ingredients. I picked three of my favorite recipes, wrote down the ingredients and began experimenting. Some contained sugar and others honey but I chose to go with the later because it added a more subtle flavor.
As far as the texture is concerned, my sauce is more runny than molasses-like. It doesn’t taste or look like your typical hoisin sauce nor was I able to replicate the one I ate at the restaurant, but it’s one I would choose over the classic one any day of the week.
So for those looking to replicate the store bought version, it’s probably best to stay away from this recipe.
What is hoisin sauce?
The word hoisin is Chinese for seafood.
Even though the sauce doesn’t contain any seafood, it’s often used to flavor seafood dishes such as stir fries, popiah and spring rolls.
The sauce is usually thick, dark in color and made using soybeans, garlic, vinegar and chillies. As you can see, sugar is not the main ingredient of the sauce and is sometimes entirely omitted in certain Chinese cuisines.
Hoisin Sauce Substitute
Hoisin sauce is so unique in flavor that it’s very hard to find a substitute for it. Some say that mixing barbecue sauce with a little soy sauce, Chinese five spice powder and sriracha sauce does the trick but I’ve personally never tried it.
If the recipe you are making calls for a teaspoon, I’d say it’s better to just skip it or substitute the hoisin sauce with oyster sauce.
What can hoisin sauce be used for?
Hoisin sauce can be used for so many things! It can be used:
- As a glaze or marinade for meats, seafood and other protein
- In stir-fries
- As a dipping sauce for dumplings and egg rolls
- As a flavor enhancer for noodle soups
- As a spread for sandwiches (baguette, meats and pickled veggies – yum! A Chinese banh mi!)
- As a sauce for vegetables (water spinach and other steamed veggies)
No matter how you use it, this homemade hoisin sauce will compliment other flavors without overwhelming the palate. It will keep refrigerated for up to a month.
Other delicious and easy homemade sauces:
Did you like this Homemade Hoisin Sauce Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share?Print
Homemade Hoisin Sauce
Homemade hoisin sauce has much more complex flavor than what you get at the store. It’s less sweet, more savory and with a touch of umami. It’s so delicious that you can use it alone as a stir fry sauce!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup
- Category: Sauces
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon white miso paste
- 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.
- Refrigerate for up to 1 month.
This hoisin sauce will keep for about 1 month, refrigerated.
Keywords: recipe, condiment, Asian, stir fry sauce, vegetarian