Authentic Hoisin Sauce

Potently flavorful and fragrant, this is a central ingredient in many Chinese dishes and will work absolute MIRACLES for the foods you add it to!  Made from scratch with an unrivaled depth of flavor that will “wow” your taste buds, look no further for the BEST hoisin sauce recipe!

Drizzle this sauce over rice, stir-fries, noodles, burgers, or use it as a dipping sauce.  Try it on our Shanghai Noodles or in our Chinese Beef and Broccoli!

hoisin sauce recipe best authentic traditional without peanut butter fermented black beans chinese

What is Hoisin Sauce?

Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark, fragrant and flavorful sauce that is commonly used as a dipping sauce, a glaze for meats and added to stir fries.  It balances both sweet, tangy and salty flavors and contributes an intense umami element to whatever food it’s added to.

Although the name hoisin is Chinese for “seafood” it does not contain any seafood, rather the name likely refers to the fact that the sauce is a common accompaniment for seafood.

Hoisin Sauce Uses

Think of hoisin sauce as an incredible all-purpose condiment.  It has so many uses and will add depth, flavor and umami to a wide variety of dishes. Here are just a few ways you can use it:

  • In stir-fries and on noodles, like our Shanghai noodles
  • Slathered on chicken, pork, ribs, duck or tofu and baked or grilled
  • Added to steamed and grilled veggies
  • In marinades, vinaigrettes and bbq sauce
  • A general substitute for ketchup
  • A new twist for meatloaf
  • Slathered on burgers, like our Shanghai burgers
  • For pulled pork or pulled chicken
  • Added to soup broths for a great flavor
  • The base sauce for Chinese-style pizza
  • Added to mayo for a Chinese twist on fry sauce
  • As a dipping sauce for Chinese dumplings, egg rolls, wontons, chicken nuggets, etc.

hoisin sauce recipe best authentic traditional without peanut butter fermented black beans chinese

How to Make Hoisin Sauce

As with most things, store-bought hoisin sauce doesn’t even begin to compare to homemade.  The flavor and potency of this authentic homemade hoisin sauce will absolutely wow your taste buds!

You’ll find a lot of recipes online for hoisin sauce calling for things like peanut butter and molasses – neither of those belong in hoisin sauce and do not remotely resemble the right flavor.  Leave those two items on the shelf and instead grab the two key ingredients you’ll need to make the real deal: Chinese Five Spice and Black Bean Sauce.  You can find Chinese five spice in the spice section of most grocery stores.  The black bean sauce may be a little more challenging to find.  However in both cases we HIGHLY recommend making your own anyway in order to achieve the absolute BEST flavor results.  Black bean sauce is a key ingredient to the best Chinese food, so you’ll want the ingredients on hand to make that anyway.

So now all you have to do is combine the Chinese five spice powder with the black bean sauce and a few other ingredients and you’ve got the best homemade hoisin sauce ever!

Can I Make This Sugar Free?

Yes!  While there still be a little bit of sugar from the prunes, you can make this sauce low sugar by using a brown sugar alternative like Sukrin Gold.

hoisin sauce recipe best authentic traditional without peanut butter fermented black beans chinese

Hoisin Sauce Recipe

Let’s get started!

There are just two steps to make this sauce:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender
  2. Puree until smooth.

placing all ingredient in a bowl

That’s all there’s to it!

Pour the sauce into a glass jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator where it will keep for about a week.

pouring sauce into glass jar

You can also freeze this for up to 3 months if you have more than you’re able to use or if you want to make a larger batch to conveniently have on hand whenever you need it.

hoisin sauce recipe best authentic traditional without peanut butter fermented black beans chinese


See blog post above for some delicious ideas on how to use this versatile sauce.

beef and broccoli recipe best chinese takeout from scratch

For more phenomenal Asian condiments, be sure to try our:

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet on April 26, 2016



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