This easy homemade hoisin sauce is savory, sweet, garlicky, nutty, and packed with umami. It’s delicious as a dipping sauce, marinade or moo shu sauce – and makes a great stand alone stir fry sauce too! This all purpose condiment is ready in 5 minutes from start to finish.
Why This Recipe Works
- Store bought hoisin can come off a little one-note: sweet. Let’s fix that. This homemade version is sweet, savory, nutty and moreish.
- Only 8 ingredients – all of which are common pantry staples. Ready in just 5 minutes.
- Truly versatile. Use as a marinade, moo shu sauce or a fully composed stir fry sauce.
Table of contents
What is Hoisin Sauce
Traditional hoisin sauce is a mixture of soybeans, garlic, red chili peppers, and sometimes five-spice powder, and vinegar. It’s used in Chinese cooking as a seasoning for stir fries, as a glaze for meats – and as a dipping sauce. It’s mainly used in Cantonese cuisine. In the US, it’s ubiquitous as a sauce for Peking duck and moo shu pork.
Why Make Homemade Hoisin?
Ingredients for Hoisin Sauce
Scroll all the way down to the recipe card for the full recipe!
- Soy Sauce: Adds umami and earthiness.
- Miso Paste: Preferably white or awase miso paste. Red miso paste can be very smoky and salty, which might be overwhelming in this recipe.
- Honey: I recommend using something not too floral since the sauce is already super flavorful. I’m using raw organic honey but that’s not necessary. Something like Golden Blossom Honey also works well.
- Salt: Just a pinch to help balance the sweet and salty.
- Peanut Butter: I’m using natural smooth peanut butter but you can use any type of peanut butter for this recipe. Keep in mind that you may need to use less honey if the peanut butter you are using contains sugar.
- Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar is great for toning down the sweetness of the sauce while infusing it with a little acidity.
- Water: The water is just to thin out the sauce. If you like a thick sauce, skip the water.
- Fresh Garlic: Hoisin sauce should be a little pungent and that’s what the fresh garlic brings to it. I recommend mincing it as finely as you can.
- Sriracha Sauce: Just a teaspoon but go ahead and add more if you like your sauce to have some heat.
How to Make Hoisin Sauce
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl until fully blended.
- Transfer the sauce to a jar or other storage container with a lid.
- Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Hoisin Sauce Variations
- Make it sweeter: Add an additional 1 tablespoon honey.
- Make it spicier: Add 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce instead of the 1 teaspoon listed in the recipe.
- To create a more pungent, savory flavor: You can either add one more garlic clove or 1 to 2 extra teaspoons of miso paste. Or add both if you like it aggressively pungent and savory.
Store unused hoisin sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- If separation occurs in the fridge, shake or stir before using.
- When cooking with the sauce, be sure to use a clean spoon for extraction. Using a cooking utensil with food on it can cause bacteria to grow in the jar.
- Likewise, don’t leave the container unrefrigerated for too long.
Frequently Asked Questions
That’s a tough one. There isn’t really a plug and play alternative. I suppose you could use oyster sauce. My advice is to use it sparingly and taste as you season. You can always add more. Anecdotally, my husband actually prefers eating moo shu with oyster sauce instead of hoisin. But he may be an outlier. If a recipe only calls for a tablespoon or two of hoisin sauce, you could try using soy sauce instead as well.
Yes! Simply swap the honey out for maple syrup instead.
Fair point! Unfortunately, I find most store bought hoisin sauce too sweet. Many Chinese restaurants make their own hoisin sauce in house – and the flavors are superior to the store bought stuff. I felt compelled to try my hand at approximating those restaurant hoisin sauces with common ingredients most of us have in the pantry at home.
How to Use Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a versatile ingredient to keep on hand. Once you get comfortable using it, the sky is the limit. Here are some useful ways it can be used in your kitchen:
- As a glaze or marinade for meats, tofu and seafood.
- Spoon it on moo shu pancakes when making moo shu pork or moo shu tofu.
- A fully composed stir fry sauce. Add it to your meat and veggies in the wok, toss well – and you’re good to go.
- As a dipping sauce for dumplings, potstickers, egg rolls, and spring rolls.
- Add it as a flavor enhancer for noodle soups.
- As a spread or dip for sandwiches.
- As a finishing sauce for vegetables. Air fry some asparagus and drizzle it on. Done.
Other delicious and easy homemade sauces:
Did you like this hoisin sauce recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments section below.Print
Homemade hoisin sauce has a much more complex flavor than store bought varieties. It’s less sweet and more savory, with a touch of umami. Use it in stir fries, noodle dishes – or as a dipping sauce.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon white or awase miso paste
- 1 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 2 weeks.
This hoisin sauce will keep for about 2 weeks, refrigerated in a jar or an airtight container.
- Serving Size: 8
- Calories: 79
- Sugar: 6.2g
- Sodium: 524.2mg
- Fat: 2.3g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0.5g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 12.3g
- Fiber: 1.3g
- Protein: 1.8g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: stir fry sauce