Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (2024)

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by Mike Hultquist · · 46 Comments · Jump to 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.

Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (1)

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.

Hoisin Sauce is a thick, aromatic Chinese sauce similar to American barbecue sauce, though not quite as sweet. It shifts betweensweet, salty, and umami flavors. While the name of the sauce translates literally into seafood, it does not contain seafood elements. Instead, this sauce is made mainly from fermented soybean paste. That is why its consistency is so thick.

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 if you prefer, which is easier to find, though I do offer variations in the Recipe Notes section.

You can very easily find hoisin sauce in grocery stores, 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 to make hoisin sauce, shall we?

Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (2)

Hoisin Sauce Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce. Low sodium is fine for this.
  • Rice Vinegar.
  • Peanut Butter or Soybean Paste. Traditional hoisin sauce is made with with soybean paste (like Korean doenjang, preferred), tahini, or black bean sauce. Peanut butter is more readily available and easier for most American cooks. I highly recommend finding doenjang.
  • Fresh Garlic. Dried or granulated is good, too.
  • Honey. Used for a touch of sweetness. Brown sugar is a good substitute, as is maple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Chinese Five Spice Powder. Use 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.
  • Sriracha. Or use any Chinese hot sauce, red chili sauce, chili paste or try your favorite hot sauce.
  • Cornstarch. This is a thickening agent.

How to Make Hoisin Sauce - the Recipe Method

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).

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 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.

Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (3)

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Peanut Butter Substitutes & Additions. 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, as is maple syrup for sweetness. Sesame oil is a welcomed here. Try it out with other thick pastes, like Korean gochujang, ssamjang, Chinese doubanjiang 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, chili peppers, or the addition of spicy chili flakes.
Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (4)

5 Ways to Use Hoisin Sauce - Serving Ideas

  1. Dipping Sauce. Serve it on the side in a small bowl with potstickers, dumplings, sushi, spring rolls 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. Asian food has never been so good.
  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 or Chicken Fried Rice.
Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (5)

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!

Check out my post on Hoisin Sauce Substitutes for alternatives to this sauce.

Storage & Leftovers

Storing your homemadeHoisin Saucein anairtight containerin the fridge may allow you to store it for up to 2-3 weeks. To maximize the storage life, make sure to refrigerate it promptly.

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

  • Teriyaki Marinade Recipe
  • Dan Dan Noodles
  • Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry
  • Chinese Dragon Chicken
  • Korean Fried Chicken
  • Chicken Satay
  • Chow Mein

Try Some of My Popular Sauce Recipes

  • General Tso Sauce
  • Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
  • Homemade Szechuan Sauce
  • Bulgogi Sauce
  • Korean BBQ Sauce
  • Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
  • Tonkatsu Sauce
  • Sambal Oelek
  • Gochujang Sauce
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Kung Pao Sauce
Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (6)

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.

Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (7)

Print

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.

Save Recipe

Course: Main Course, sauce

Cuisine: American, Chinese

Keyword: condiment, dipping sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, sriracha

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes minutes

Calories: 25kcal

Author: Mike Hultquist

Servings: 16 tablespoons

Tap or hover to scale

4.95 from 19 votes

Leave a Review

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!

Video

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 Information

Calories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 274mgPotassium: 25mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg

Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (8)

Did You Enjoy This Recipe?I love hearing how you like it and how you made it your own. Leave a comment below and tag @ChiliPepperMadness on social media.

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 12/11/20 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 3/30/20.

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

  1. Stan Quick says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (9)
    I often create sauces for stir fry. This one will be used often but I have no idea what the exact ingredients will be. I have specific dietary requirements so love recipes which can be manipulated a bit. I find commercial sauces do not meet my needs so thank you for this.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Thanks, Stan!

      Reply

  2. Combes says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (10)
    Would it be possible to make an oister sauce ? thank you,

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      You can. Usually oyster sauce is made with oysters that are simmered down until everything is caramelized. I don't have an exact recipe for it, but may look into it.

      Reply

  3. kay says

    Your version is much better than the pre-bottled stuff in the grocery store which I find is just overwhelming sweet.

    Yours has a great balanced flavor. . . perfect for stir fry.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Kay. I appreciate your sharing. Yes, this is why I like homemade so much better, so we can adjust to our preferences.

      Reply

  4. Misty says

    Didn’t have the 5 Chinese spice mix, but did have the ordinary components (but fennel) and it turned out pretty good

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Misty!

      Reply

  5. Peggy Straathof says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (11)
    I'm not sure what bottled Hoisin sauce tastes like, but this was very good in my recipe. I used tahini. and some chopped dried red pepper flakes. Very good.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Peggy! Nice touch with the tahini.

      Reply

  6. Cynthia Armstrong says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (12)
    Delicious!! I made this Hoisin sauce exactly as written.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Cynthia!

      Reply

  7. Tracy England says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (13)
    I was teaching a General Tso's cooking class for some ex-pats. Hoisin sauce is a rare commodity where we live in the DR, so I used this recipe as part of my class.

    Made both peanut butter version and soybean paste so that my students had options when they can't find a jar of hoisin.

    They loved both options.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Excellent! Thanks so much, Tracy! Glad to be helpful.

      Reply

  8. fiona says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (14)
    Thank you! You just saved my crispy duck, can't buy hoisin where I am and this worked beautifully.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Excellent! Glad to help! =)

      Reply

  9. Julie says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (15)
    Soooo yummy! I used Sambal Oelek chili paste instead of siracha, as mentioned. I like that the recipe doesn't make a ton so I don't end up throwing it out. Going to use this in a chicken wonton taco recipe, but so good on its own.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Nice! Glad you enjoyed it, Julie! I'll take a chicken wonton taco, please! =)

      Reply

  10. Julie says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (16)
    Just made this and substituted Gochujang for the peanut butter and used 2 TBSP of chili paste. I needed hoisin for a General Tso’s Chicken recipe so I searched around and found your recipe. It turned out well! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Nice! I love the use of gochujang here! Love it. Thanks, Julie.

      Reply

  11. Mel says

    Hi Mike, as I live in Corfu Greece, rice vinegar is virtually unheard of. Do you know if there is a substitute I could use ? Fingers, toes AND eyes crossed !

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Mel, you can use a good white wine vinegar as a sub. Let me know how it turns out for you. I hope you enjoy it.

      Reply

  12. Leigh says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (17)
    Mike.....another banging recipe!!!!....Just made this with a chicken stir fry and it was amazing!! Didn't need the cornstartch though and added the chicken stock to loosen the sauce a little. Almost licked the plate in the end....but didn't l! . Thank you again.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Excellent! Thanks, Leigh! Great to hear!

      Reply

  13. Soner Ali says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (18)
    Hi Mike
    How long do you think this would last in a sealed glass jar in the fridge.
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Hi, Soner. This will easily last a week or longer. It's really mostly condiments, though if using fresh garlic and ginger, I would keep only a week or so.

      Reply

  14. Geraldine says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (19)
    Looks lovely. Have tried the szechuan sauce which I loved. This is a little similar but different!. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Yes, very similar. I have that recipe on the site as well. Thanks!

      Reply

  15. Geraldine says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (20)
    Looks fab. Have tried your szechuan sauce and love it! It's a little bit similar looking at the ingredients. It's really useful that you give alternate ingredients too and explain the differences those alternates can make. Love your website. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Thanks so much, Geraldine! Yep, love a good Szechuan sauce. YUM.

      Reply

  16. Barbara M says

    Recently found your site, and so glad I did!

    Do you have any recommendations for a good brand for Korean condiments like doenjang?

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Thanks, Barbara. I don't have a good recommendation. I grab whatever is available at the Asian store near me. There are several options for me. I hope you find a brand you enjoy.

      Reply

  17. Kim says

    Hi Mike,
    What can I use instead of soy sauce, my partner is on a very reduced salt diet?
    Any ideas of a healthier alternative.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Becky, you can try low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos, though those might have too much salt for you. Look into a no-salt soy sauce. I'm not sure of the flavor, though. There are also products like "umami powder" available, though I have not tried them. Consider a mushroom powder with vinegar. Let me know if you find a substitute you enjoy.

      Reply

  18. Heidi Voss says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (21)
    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.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

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

      Reply

  19. Keith GilbertKeith says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (22)
    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.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

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

      Reply

  20. Andrew Morrison says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (23)
    Hey Mike, loving your recipes and this one!! Home made hoisin sauce, the best ever barbecue meat coating of all time.Thanks a bunch.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

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

      Reply

  21. Peg says

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

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

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

      Reply

  22. MAXINE says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (24)
    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.

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (25)
      Thanks, Maxine. I hope you enjoy it.

      Reply

  23. Alice Calandresa says

    Easy Hoisin Sauce Recipe (26)
    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

    Reply

    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

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

      Reply

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