Homemade Hoisin Sauce

Try this homemade hoisin sauce once and you will never want to use a store bought one again. This is a flexible recipe that you can customize based on the ingredients you have on hand.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce - Try this homemade hoisin sauce once and you will never want to use a store bought one again. | omnivorescookbook.com

Why would you ever want to make hoisin sauce at home when you can easily get it from an online store or any Asian market? The answer is that it tastes a hundred times better. The end.

Hoisin sauce is very popular in southern Chinese cooking. As a northerner myself, I seldom use it. If I need to enhance the flavor of a dish with a sauce shortcut (like in this recipe), I’ll use oyster sauce most of the time. However, hoisin sauce does play an important part in making marinades and glazes, such as that for Chinese BBQ.

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It never occurred to me that someone might want to make hoisin sauce at home, until a reader mentioned to me that it could be pretty expensive to purchase, depending on where you are. Plus, it doesn’t make sense to buy a big bottle of it when you just need a tablespoon for a special recipe.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce - Try this homemade hoisin sauce once and you will never want to use a store bought one again. | omnivorescookbook.com

When I tried to make a small batch of hoisin sauce last week, I was even more convinced of how great an idea it was. The homemade version uses better quality ingredients, such as honey, natural peanut butter, and fresh garlic. It has a superior flavor compared to the bottled one. I wouldn’t say the homemade version tastes 100% identical to a supermarket-bought hoisin sauce, but it adds a great subtle flavor to the dishes I used it in and I was very satisfied with the taste.

After some research, I found that the only problem with making this sauce is that you need to use another sauce as an ingredient. Most of the recipes online call for hot sauce, sriracha, or miso. Its sounds strange. But the problem is that real hoisin sauce gets its flavor from fermented beans, and it’s quite difficult to create this subtle hint from most of the basic spices found in the average pantry.

In the end, I decided to use the hoisin sauce recipe from Food.com as a base. I divided the base into four parts and experimented with miso, doubanjiang (Chinese spicy fermented bean paste), Thai chili sauce, and gochujang (Korean spicy fermented chili paste) to complete the various trials. In the end, miso paste and doubanjiang created the taste most similar to hoisin sauce. However, all of them yielded satisfying results.

In this recipe, I listed all four options. Depending on what do you have in your pantry, you can easily make a great tasting hoisin sauce in 5 minutes!

Homemade Hoisin Sauce - Try this homemade hoisin sauce once and you will never want to use a store bought one again. | omnivorescookbook.com

More recipes to use your hoisin sauce

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce

Try this homemade hoisin sauce once and you will never want to use a store bought one again. This is a flexible recipe that you can customize based on the ingredients you have on hand.
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours 58 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 3 minutes
Calories: 50kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic , grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste (OR 1/2 teaspoon spicy fermented bean paste, OR 1/2 teaspoon gochujang + 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder, OR 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce + 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
    Homemade Hoisin Sauce Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  • Store hoisin sauce in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a month.

Nutrition

Serving: 18g | Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.8g | Protein: 1.9g | Fat: 3.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 22mg | Sugar: 2.6g | Iron: 4%

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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97 thoughts on “Homemade Hoisin Sauce

  1. Kevin | keviniscooking

    Hoisin sauce is by far one of my favorites in Chinese cooking. I have never tried ot make it as I usually use the Dynasty or Lee Kum Kee brands. Most have sweet potato as an ingredient so I was intrigued when yours had peanut butter! Interesting. I will definitely give this a try and see.

    I do love Plum, Black Bean sauce a swell. What tickles me is the pungent aspect of these sauces and even though hoisin gives an almost plum or raisin type taste, it contains neither.

    By the way Maggie, when I Goggled Hoisin sauce, your post showed up as #4 and you just posted the recipe 4 hours ago. Pretty cool, huh?! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Exactly! I never thought about making this sauce at all and always uses Lee Kum Kee. I wrote about this only because a reader asked and I thought it’s worth trying. I didn’t expect the result turned out pretty good, and actually I like the homemade version better! For the peanut butter, make sure you used the natural one, otherwise it will taste too sweet.
      It’s interesting that this one gets a good rank on Google! Thanks so much for letting me know 🙂

      Reply
      1. Tewie

        I looked for homemade hoisin because Dynasty has wheat-based soy sauce component. I cook for gluten-free person. If anyone knows a gluten-free brand, please post it. Thank you for posting your recipes.

      2. Karin

        I sub Bragg’s Aminos for soy sauce. Equal amounts as soy sauce called for in recipes. I also sub fresh lemon juice for vinegar. Tastes great! Thanks Maggie! ?

      3. Maggie Post author

        Hi Karin, wow, what a great idea for substitutions! I’ll try it out next time. The addition of aminos sounds very interesting.
        I’m glad to hear you like the recipe 🙂

    1. Maggie Post author

      So when you blend in all the spices, it doesn’t really taste like peanut butter but a good savory flavor. Hope you like how it turns out 🙂

      Reply
  2. Nancy | Plus Ate Six

    I have a jar of hoisin sitting in the fridge that must be two years old and full of additives and who knows what – this is brilliant. Really surprised with the peanut butter but I trust you!

    Reply
  3. Susan

    Hi Maggie,
    I’m really looking forward to trying this (I just bought a jar of Hoisin sauce last night, which seemed huge for what I need). Your timing is perfect.

    I wish you the best on your interview and hope everything with your visa goes smoothly.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Susan! I hope your cooking goes well, and do let me know whether you like the taste of this recipe. Have a great weekend 🙂

      Reply
  4. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine

    Hmm.. I could use almond butter instead of peanut butter, but what to sub for the miso? Is thai chili sauce really a good substitute? It’s so sweet, and miso is salty?

    These are sauces I can never have because of my allergies– but they always look so yummy! Thought I would check your recipe for this because I love making Pho and never serve it with the traditional hoisin because of allergies 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Michelle, the Thai chili sauce is not the best substitution, but since you only add a tiny amount to adjust flavor, the sauce won’t taste sweet. Do you rule out miso because of the allergy or you cannot find it at the market?

      Reply
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  6. jane @ littlesugarsnaps

    This is so perfectly timed. Last night I threw out a nearly full jar of Hoisin because it had 48g of sugar per 100g and I just could not bring myself to serve that sugar hit up to my daughters. I have a feeling that your 1 tbsp of honey may be more like it. Pinning and most definitely making this one. Thankyou Maggie

    Reply
  7. David

    Maggie, your version IS better than the bottled stuff! Also very difficult to find the gluten free brands. I used the miso paste and also added five spice because I love the taste. Next time I may try using slightly less peanut butter.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I’m so glad to hear you like it David! Yes, it’s not easy to find gluten free sauces, so I always recommend my readers to make their own. Hope you’ll like the peanut butter version too! 🙂

      Reply
      1. Peggy

        I am gluten-intolerant and never even thought of hoisin sauce being a problem. Sure enough, looked at the label on the one in my fridge and it lists wheat in the soy sauce ingredient. I’ll throw that out and make this instead. Thanks, Maggie!

      2. Maggie Post author

        You’re the most welcome Peggy! Yes many manufactured Asian sauces contain wheat, so nope they’re not gluten-free. It’s always safe to make your own because you know exactly what goes into it ? Happy cooking and let me know how the sauce turns out!

  8. Diedra

    Decided to make Pho for lunch but was out of Hoisin sauce. Found your recipe. Excellent. The leftover sauce almost didn’t make it to the refrig since I was eating it off the spoon. lol Thanks

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Helen, I never had the chance to test this, because we usually finish it within a week. It contains raw garlic, so I won’t suggest storing this in the fridge for too long time. I’d venture to guess that it should last about 2 weeks to a month. If you decide to make a big batch and are not going to use it often, I suggest you to freeze the rest in ice tray.

      Reply
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  10. Harry in CA

    Hi Maggie, really liked this as it used all “pantry” ingredients. I always have miso paste in the freezer to use. I used almond butter instead of peanut butter. Used the sauce with some soy sauce and mirin to pressure cook some beef short ribs. The sauce held up under “high pressure”

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Glad to hear the almond butter worked out. And it’s interesting to hear the sauce does well under high pressure! Thanks so much for sharing this piece of information 🙂

      Reply
  11. Anisa

    Thank you so much! I’m keeping this recipe and will make it often. I usually prefer homemade things to store bought and this was both easy to make and delicious!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      You’re the most welcome Anisa! Me too, I prefer homemade everything, because I know exactly what’s inside of the food.
      Have a wonderful week 🙂

      Reply
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  13. Gord Wait

    Very surprised to see peanut butter in the online recipes I’m finding.
    None of the commercially made ones I’ve looked at use peanut butter.
    What’s up with that?

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Gord, the commercial hoisin sauce contains fermented wheat flour that give the sauce a consistent sticky texture and umami. It is not a process that home cooks could easily conduct in their own kitchen, so they use all sort of substitute to recreate the same consistency and flavor. I had the same question when I was researching hoisin sauce recipes online and I thought peanut butter sounds strange. However, when I made this sauce, it does taste very similar to hoisin sauce (not the same of course, a bit nuttier). But when you use it in a recipe, it works really well. It gives the sauce the right texture. It tasted way less “peanut butter” after adding other pungent ingredients such as soy sauce.

      Reply
  14. Shannon

    Hi Maggie.
    I am going to try making this this week. I am not able to have soy, so I use Coconut Aminos when ever soy is used. I have never had hoisin before, so I have nothing to go by. ?

    Reply
  15. Julie

    Hi Maggie, thank you for your recipes. I love hoisin sauce and the best I’ve had is at Charlie Hong Kong In Santa Cruz, Ca. They make their own so I was very happy to see your site with a variety of ingredients to try.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I’m glad to hear you find this post helpful! Yes, homemade hoisin sauce is the best. And I believe there are many possibilities to make a delicious sauce!

      Reply
  16. Dave

    Hi Maggie. One day I was making Chinese ribs and chcken satay for a football party wanted to get stuff in the marinades the night before. We only had a smidge of hoisin sauce , but it was late and snowing so I quickly Googled homemade but knew full well I wouldn’t have everything even if a recipe did show. Yours came right up and it was fantastic, had everything on hand and within a few min we had amazing sauce that we now use as a marinade, dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls, dumplings, won tons….just adjusting fresh herbs to match the dish. WONDERFUL.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Dave, I’m so happy to hear that the sauce works for you, in so many ways! It’s a very versatile sauce isn’t it? I’ve never used it for wonton dippings sauce yet, but now I can’t wait to try out!
      Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. Happy cooking and hope you have a great week ahead 🙂

      Reply
  17. Stuart

    What a tasty sauce. I made the version with “1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce + 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder” and although it tastes different than my store bought LEE KUM KEE it definitely worked well on my pork noodle soup. I stored this Hoisin Sauce in my old empty Hoisin bottle. Comparing the store bought ingredients I notice that Maggie’s list of ingredients DOES NOT include: “modified corn starch, wheat flour, caramel color, acetic acid, FD&C red food color No. 40, nor potassium sorbate.” Hmmm …. could this be why the Asian diet with it’s fresh ingredients is acclaimed to be healthier then so many alternatives ….?

    Can’t wait to run out so I can make another version … maybe as a dipping sauce for dim sum.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Rob, I’m glad to hear you like the sauce! Yes the homemade sauce tastes different from the store bought sauce but it works great in many recipes as a hoisin sauce alternative. If you use miso paste or the fermented bean paste, the taste will be a bit closer.
      I definitely agree with you that homemade sauces will make your meals healthier 🙂 The other thing is, Chinese sauces go very well with vegetables. While I was living with my parents, our dinner table for three usually have two to three big plates of vegetables and one meat dish. Eating vegetables was never a painful thing because they are so delicious 🙂

      Reply
  18. Roston

    Hi Maggie

    I never usually post on things like this, but the recipe was so mad and tastes so great! I’m going to use it in a char siu style marinade for some pork ribs (nom)

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Glad the recipe worked for you Roston, and thanks for taking time to leave a comment!
      Hope your char siu marinade will turn out great as well. Happy cooking 🙂

      Reply
  19. amita

    hello i love the recipe it’s great. can you tell me how long the home made hoisin sauce will keep? and do you think i can freeze it? many thanks again

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Amita, I usually store the sauce in the fridge and it stays good for at least a month. And yes you can definitely freeze it if you want to keep it for a longer period of time.

      Reply
  20. Patrick Alarcon

    Thank you. This is a very informative, well written and user-friendly site. I’m going to make this Hoisin sauce tonight!

    Reply
  21. Cammele C Carey

    Thanks so much, I used this for fresh spring rolls as well as for pad thai. My whole family loved it, and there are six of us, finding something everyone likes is hard. Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Cammele, I’m so glad to hear you like this sauce! It’s indeed a tough job to please six eaters who have different taste and I’m happy that the sauce is a crowd pleaser 🙂
      Hope you and your family have an awesome week ahead!

      Reply
  22. Cathey

    Thank you Maggie, amazing flavors. I used option #4 with sweet chili sauce and the 5 spice. It is impossible to find gluten free hoisin or oyster sauce. I use San-J Tamari, although salty is works. The hoisin worked perfectly with my Asian pork meatball sauce.

    Reply
  23. Sara Lynn

    Got into a recipe and discovered that someone had put an empty hoisin bottle back in the fridge. What?! 🙂 Since we’re a gluten-free family and not fans of sugar and salt I was looking for a healthy recipe and found yours. Wow. Amazing. I did the variation with Thai chilli sauce and 5-spice powder. No MSG. No cornstarch. No gluten. SO much flavour. Heaven. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  24. Sara Lynn

    I was midway through dinner prep and discovered we were completely out of hoisin. Hit the internet and found this amazing recipe (which is tastier than anything you can get in a jar). We’re a gluten-free household and I’m not a fan of refined sugar, MSG and cornstarch or other thickeners. This is flavourful and can be boosted easily if you want more heat, more garlic, more ginger. I did a chilli paste and 5-spice powder variation. It was a wonderful, healthy addition to Pad Thai. Delicious. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be checking back for more recipes.

    Reply
  25. Bing

    Where did I go wrong? This is SALTY beyond belief! Perhaps 1/3 the recommended light soya sauce and twice/tripple the honey?

    Reply
  26. Jill

    Where did you find the bowl that the hoisin sauce is in? The clear glass one?? It reminds me of a honey jar.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Jill, I’m pretty sure I got these prep bowls in Ikea. You can find similar ones in other home improvement stores as well.

      Reply
  27. Sanja

    I’m from Croatia, Eastern Europe and I Like Chinese cuisine.
    This Hoisin sauce is really excellent, I put it in the chicken risotto and it was delicious. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Sanja, I’m glad to hear you like the recipe! Wow, I’ve never thought about adding this sauce into a risotto! What a fun and delicious idea 🙂
      I’d love to try it out sometime, maybe with some asparagus.

      Reply
  28. Stephanie Gurland

    Is it ok to add cashew or almond butter in place of peanut? I have salted black beans as well as dried and miso but I’m allergic to peanuts which we both know are a legume.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Stephanie, I think you can use almond butter to replace the peanut butter. The peanut butter is used here to add texture and nuttiness. You can probably get a great result from other nut butter too.

      Reply
      1. Rosie

        Can you suggest something in place of a nut butter? I’m so delighted to have come across your recipes as I love chinese food and I’m allergic to gluten, but I am also allergic to nuts/peanuts. What could you suggest in place of the peanut butter in this? Thanks!

  29. Rune

    Hi,
    Used this when I was trying a Mongolian lamb curry recipe (from elsewhere) and found I needed hoisin sauce.
    I replaced the rice vinegar with red-wine vinegar that I had. I also just used five spice powder as the last ingredient (instead of the miso paste). I added the chilli as part of the main curry recipe instead.
    Turned out very well in the end .

    regards,
    Rune

    Reply
  30. Madelene Chihab

    Hi Maggie
    Thank you for sharing your hoisin recipes. I just came back from my first ever trip to China, business trip to Shanghai, and I wanted to add savoury noodle bowls to my cooking repertoire. I really like te idea of having it all in on bowl and the mix of broth, hoisin sauce and crispy vegetables. I’ll try the recipe using gochujang since I have some from my “Corean” cooking phase last year ?. I’ll let you know the out come.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Madelene, that sounds like a good plan! Seems like you enjoyed the trip and the food in China 🙂
      Noodle bowl is such a great thing for dinner. I always make extra sauce and save the leftover for later so I can prepare dinner so fast.
      Happy cooking and can’t wait to hear what you cooked!

      Reply
  31. Lisa

    Thank you Maggie!

    My first time trying to cool Asian fare properly. I had to improvise a little as I didnt have all the ingredients, but it paid off! Thank you for the inspiration.

    Be happy 😉

    Reply
  32. Cassius Ledeboer

    Just made this with the gojuchang and five spice powder. Absolutely clean and delicious. Really excited to try your other recipes.

    Reply
    1. Thomas

      We’re happy to hear that, Cassius! Let us know how the other recipes go, and if you have any requests 🙂

      Reply
  33. Marci Ameluxen

    I am happy to run across your recipe, I have a husband with wheat intolerance and a son with a peanut allergy, I am going to substitute Sunbutter for the peanut butter and of course I already have gluten free Tamari at home. Most prepared sauces you buy have soy sauce (wheat) so I often can’t get what I need at the store. Will be using this in Garlic Beef tonight, thanks so much!

    Reply
  34. Lisa Facemire

    I was a little concerned that it was too runny . I put it on the stove and in 2 min it had that nice thick consistency that I was looking for, perfect for coating my wings tonight! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  35. Alyssa

    Yay! I was looking for a more natural way to enjoy my favorite lettuce wrap recipe and I was so happy to find this! Thank you ❤️

    Reply
  36. Isabel

    Hi Maggie! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I had recently discovered the joy of hoisin sauce as an accompaniment to my homemaderice paper rolls, but really hate using sauces from the supermarket that contain loads of additives. I tried your recipe and it worked out wonderfully! I omitted the grated garlic as I was time poor and it was still delicious. I will definitely be making this again!

    Reply
  37. Jay

    Hello, this recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I have just one question… do you ALWAYS add the 1/4 Tsp Five Spice powder? I was lookin at using the miso paste option but it looks like in that case you DON’T use the 5 spice? I am thinking maybe I am reading it incorrectly, as all the other options mention the 5 spice and that flavor is so distinctive. Thanks in advance. 😊

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Jay, I did skip the five spice powder when I use the miso paste because miso paste has enough flavor so I don’t think extra five spice powder is needed. On the other hand, if you like the taste of five spice powder, you could try adding a smaller amount (1/8 teaspoon) and I believe the sauce will come out well.

      Reply
  38. Rudy

    We substituted tahini for peanut butter to avoid that flavor on broiled pork chops. Call it Eastern glaze perhaps. Great results.

    Reply
  39. Rick M

    Winner, winner. . . . tea-smoked chicken dinner!!!
    I was out of store-bought hoisin and wondered if it could be made at home with ingredients I had readily available. YUP!!!! And THIS recipe knocks it out of the stadium!!! And it’s easy! Plus I have control over the sodium content. (I went with the chili paste and 5-spice powder option.)
    Since I AM making tea-smoked chicken tonight, I added about 1-2 TBS of sherry to enhance the moisture and even browning of the skin. (1 TBS with overflow) heheheheh.
    I look forward to trying the other ingredient options as well. Thank you Maggie! Well done!
    Rick

    Reply
  40. Missy K


    I used what I had- and most of what the recipe called for, but no miso paste. I substituted Sweet and Sour sauce. Can’t say this is anything like store bought Hoisin, but it was perfect in my garlic pork (with egg noodles and broccoli slaw) recipe! I prefer this over the store bought and we love the peanut butter in it! Thank you!

    Reply