brown thick sauce in a bowl with a spoon


Home » Recipes » Dip Dip Gourmet » HOISIN SAUCE RECIPE

Craving the rich, savoury goodness of hoisin sauce but want to keep it healthy? Look no further – this easy homemade Hoisin Sauce Recipe will elevate your dishes with all the delicious flavours you love, without the extra sugar and sodium.

And there she is, the self-proclaimed sauce Queen herself – back at it again with yet another homemade and made from scratch sauce recipe. Because if there’s ONE THING you should know about me by now it’s that I love my sauces. Seriously. If something comes with a sauce of some sort – COUNT. ME. IN. IMMEDIATELY.

It should come as no surprise then, that this blog is packed with all sorts of delicious homemade sauce recipes! Whether you want the perfect Sunday sugo (aka tomato sauce) for all of your pasta needs or you’re looking for something creamy and delicious to dip your french fries into, ya gal has most definitely got you covered.

thick brown sauce in a bowl with a spoon, chopped green onions and sesame seeds around it

My fridge and pantry are usually stocked to the brim with Asian flavours and condiments that I actually use on a regular basis! I always have things like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil on hand which IMHO are the basis of many amazing dishes (egg roll in a bowl, anyone?!) So, if you’re coming across this hoisin sauce recipe and find that you don’t already have most of these ingredients, this sounds like as good of a time as any to start your collection. You’re welcome.

So, you may be wondering, “but Annnndreaaaa – if you claim you always have a fridge stocked up on Asian flavours, why in the heck don’t you already have hoisin sauce?!” And yes, you’re absolutely right and thanks for pointing that out!

Well, truth be told, finding a hoisin sauce that meets my ingredient standards has been quite the challenge. I’m all about using wholesome, healthy ingredients that I feel good about putting into my body. That’s why this homemade version is such a game-changer – it’s made with simple, clean ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. Once you whip up a batch, you’ll see just how easy it is to elevate your dishes with a sauce that’s packed with flavour and free from any mystery additives.

Are you ready to taste the difference?!


ingredients for hoisin sauce recipe - water, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, peanut butter, rice vinegar, five spice, sriracha, garlic, pepper, maple syrup
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

If you’re anything like me when it comes to cooking, you likely already have most of these ingredients in your fridge or pantry right now (so, what are you waiting for – go make this hoisin sauce recipe immediately!!!) BUUUT, if you don’t, now is the perfect time to get them! I promise, you’ll use them in more recipes than just this one!

Each of these ingredients plays a crucial role in creating a balanced, flavourful hoisin sauce that’s both delicious and healthier than store-bought versions. Let’s discuss the ingredients you’ll need to make your own homemade hoisin sauce in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Soy Sauce: Provides the salty, umami base for the sauce. I like using low-sodium soy sauce for this recipe. However, for a gluten free version, you can use tamari instead. Low-sodium soy sauce reduces the overall salt content, making the sauce healthier while tamari has a rich, smooth flavour.

  • Peanut Butter: Adds creaminess and a nutty depth to the sauce. You can use almond butter instead, if you prefer. Using natural nut butter ensures there are no added sugars or unhealthy fats. Peanut butter offers a traditional taste, while almond butter provides a slightly different but still delicious twist.

  • Maple Syrup: Sweetens the sauce to balance the salty and savoury elements. You can use honey instead, if you prefer. Both are natural sweeteners. Honey adds a floral sweetness, while maple syrup gives a rich, caramel-like flavour. These alternatives are healthier than refined sugar.

  • Rice Vinegar: Adds acidity to balance the flavours and enhance the overall taste. Rice vinegar is milder and slightly sweet compared to other vinegars, making it perfect for Asian-inspired sauces.

  • Sesame Oil: Provides a distinct, nutty aroma and richness to the sauce. Toasted sesame oil is typically used for its strong, aromatic flavour. A little goes a long way in adding depth to the sauce.

  • Sriracha: Adds heat and complexity. Sriracha is a popular hot sauce with a balance of spice, sweetness, and garlic. However, you can use a different kind of hot sauce instead, if you prefer. Adjust the amount to control the spiciness of your sauce.

  • Garlic: Infuses the sauce with a pungent, savoury flavour. Fresh minced garlic works best as it adds a sharp, robust taste that complements the other ingredients well. It’s a staple in many Asian sauces for its depth of flavour.

  • Ground Black Pepper: Adds mild heat and enhances the overall flavour profile. It also provides a gentle kick to this hoisin sauce recipe and works well with the other ingredients.

  • Chinese Five Spice Powder: Contributes a warm, complex flavour with sweet, savoury, and slightly spicy notes. This spice blend typically includes cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise, and Sichuan pepper. It’s traditional in hoisin sauce but you can substitute it with a similar spice mix.

  • Cornstarch (optional, for thickening): Thickens the sauce to achieve a desirable consistency. When mixed with water (to form a slurry), cornstarch acts as a thickening agent. It’s optional but helps achieve a thicker, smoother sauce if needed.

  • Water (optional, for adjusting consistency): Adjusts the sauce’s consistency to your preference. Adding water can thin out the sauce if it’s too thick, allowing you to achieve the perfect texture for your needs.
spoon lifting a thick brown sauce out of a bowl


spoonful of brown thick sauce above a bowl with more

You can find full instructions for how to make this hoisin sauce recipe in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use high quality ingredients. Opt for high-quality soy sauce, natural nut butters, and fresh garlic to ensure the best flavour. Low-sodium soy sauce or tamari helps control the salt content. EXTRA TIP: Use fresh garlic and avoid pre-minced garlic from jars, as fresh garlic provides a more vibrant flavour.

  • Measure ingredients accurately. Use precise measurements, especially for stronger flavours like sesame oil, sriracha, and Chinese five-spice powder. Small variations can significantly alter the taste.

  • Blend well. Thoroughly whisk or blend the ingredients to create a smooth and uniform sauce. This is especially important for incorporating peanut butter or almond butter. EXTRA TIP: Use a food processor or a blender if you have one. I do and didn’t (lol) and regretted it immediately. My sauce (as you might be able to tell by the photos or the video) has little clumps of peanut butter in it. Although still delicious, it’s definitely not ideal.

  • Adjust to taste. Taste the sauce as you mix. If it’s too salty, add a bit more honey or maple syrup. If it’s too sweet, add a bit more soy sauce or rice vinegar. Customize the spice level by adjusting the amount of sriracha. EXTRA TIP: Feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking. You can experiment with different types of nut butters or sweeteners, and add other spices if desired.

  • Optional heating. Heating the sauce can help meld the flavours and thicken it. If you choose to heat it, do so over medium heat while stirring constantly to prevent burning. EXTRA TIP: Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken up a bit more as it cools.

  • Control thickness. If you prefer a thicker sauce, use cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of water. Add it gradually while heating the sauce to reach your desired consistency.

  • Let it sit. Allow the sauce to sit for at least 15-30 minutes after mixing. This resting time helps the flavours meld together for a more cohesive taste.

  • Store properly. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can keep for up to two weeks. Stir well before each use, as some ingredients may settle.
brown thick sauce in a bowl with a spoon



Soy sauce and hoisin sauce are both essential condiments in Asian cuisine, but they have distinct differences in flavour, ingredients, and uses.

Soy sauce is a thin, dark liquid made primarily from fermented soybeans, wheat, water, and salt. It offers a salty, umami-rich taste that enhances the flavour of dishes without overpowering them. Soy sauce is versatile, commonly used in marinades, stir-fries, dipping sauces, and as a seasoning for various dishes.

On the other hand, hoisin sauce is a thicker, sweeter, and more complex sauce made from fermented soybeans, sugar, vinegar, garlic, and various spices, including Chinese five-spice powder. It has a rich, savoury-sweet flavour with a hint of tanginess and spiciness. Hoisin sauce is great as a glaze for meats, a dipping sauce for spring rolls, or a flavouring in stir-fries, providing a more pronounced and distinctive taste compared to the subtle saltiness of soy sauce.


Hoisin sauce and oyster sauce are not the same, though they are both staples in Asian cooking and often used to enhance the flavour of dishes.

Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark sauce made from fermented soybeans, sugar, vinegar, garlic, and various spices, with a sweet and savoury flavour profile, sometimes accompanied by a hint of spiciness. It’s commonly used as a glaze, dipping sauce, or in stir-fries, adding a rich, complex taste to dishes.

In contrast, oyster sauce is made from oyster extracts, sugar, salt, and thickened with cornstarch, giving it a glossy, syrupy consistency and a distinct umami flavour with a slight sweetness and brininess from the oysters. Oyster sauce is frequently used in stir-fries, marinades, and as a finishing sauce to impart a deep, savoury taste.

While both sauces enhance the flavour of dishes, their distinct ingredients and flavour profiles make them suitable for different culinary applications.


Hoisin sauce pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods, bringing its rich, sweet, and savoury flavour to many dishes. It’s a popular choice for glazing meats like pork, chicken, and duck, adding a deliciously caramelized and flavourful coating when roasted or grilled.

Hoisin sauce also complements stir-fried vegetables and proteins, infusing them with a deep, complex taste. It’s an essential ingredient in many Asian dishes, such as Peking duck, where it’s used as a dipping sauce or spread inside pancakes.

Additionally, hoisin sauce is excellent as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, dumplings, and lettuce wraps, providing a tasty contrast to the fresh, crisp ingredients. Its versatility extends to being used as a base for marinades and as a flavour enhancer in noodle dishes and soups, making it a versatile condiment in both traditional and modern cuisine.


Store homemade hoisin sauce in an airtight container, such as a glass jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, to maintain its freshness and prevent contamination. After preparing the sauce, allow it to cool to room temperature if you have heated it. Once cooled, transfer the sauce to the container and seal it tightly.

Store the container in the refrigerator, where it will keep well for up to two weeks. Stir the sauce before each use, as some ingredients may settle over time.


Yes, you can freeze homemade hoisin sauce to extend its shelf life. To freeze the sauce, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer-safe plastic bag, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion as the sauce freezes. Label the container with the date to keep track of its storage time.
When properly stored, frozen hoisin sauce can last for up to three months.

To use, thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. After thawing, give the sauce a good stir to re-emulsify any separated ingredients. Freezing can slightly alter the texture, but the flavour should remain intact, making it a convenient way to keep your homemade hoisin sauce on hand for longer periods.

homemade hoisin sauce in a bowl with a spoon










brown thick sauce in a bowl with a spoon


Yield: ~ 1/2 Cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Craving the rich, savoury goodness of hoisin sauce but want to keep it healthy? Look no further – this easy homemade Hoisin Sauce Recipe will elevate your dishes with all the delicious flavours you love, without the extra sugar and sodium.


  • 4 tbsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • 2 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
  • 1 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Sriracha (or other hot sauce, adjust to taste)
  • 1 small Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese Five-Spice Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cornstarch (optional, for thickening)
  • 1 tbsp Water (optional, for consistency adjustment)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, peanut butter, honey or maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha, minced garlic, black pepper, and Chinese five-spice powder until smooth and well combined. Alternatively (which I recommend), use a food processor or a blender if you have one.
    soy sauce, peanut butter, and spices unmixed in a bowl
    brown liquidy sauce in a bowl with a small whisk
  2. Adjust thickness (optional). If you prefer a thicker sauce, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water and add to the mixture. Whisk thoroughly.
    hand holding a small ramekin of a cornstarch slurry over another bowl
  3. Heat the sauce (optional). For a smoother and thicker texture, you can heat the sauce. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes. If it gets too thick, you can add a bit more water to achieve the right consistency.
    brown liquid in a cast iron skillet
    brown thick liquid/sauce in a cast iron skillet being stirred by a rubber spatula
  4. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 557Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3312mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 6gSugar: 33gProtein: 19g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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