Have you ever tried Hoisin sauce? It’s a sweet, salty, and thick sauce that you could define as the Chinese version of barbecue sauce.
I love Hoisin sauce. The thing is, most sauces available at the store are loaded with white sugar, preservatives, and colorings. So I decided to make my own healthier version. This hoisin sauce is naturally sweetened, perfectly spiced, and comes together in less than 10 minutes!
Before diving into the recipe, be aware this is not the traditional recipe but has a very similar flavor and is a lot healthier.
This recipe requires only 11 ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. The only “special” ingredient you might not already have on hand is soybean paste, it’s a dark and thick fermented paste that is quite salty. Soybean paste, also called Doenjang doesn’t contain rice as opposed to miso and has a more pungent flavor. It can be found at Asian stores, or online.
Then we have soy sauce for more saltiness, toasted sesame oil that brings a nutty flavor, and white rice vinegar that balances everything out. I sweetened the sauce with maple syrup and Medjool dates. The addition of dates also helps make the sauce thicker, which is perfect for when you want to use it as a dipping sauce.
The rest of the ingredients is pretty basic: garlic, hot sauce, and ground spices like coriander, anise, and cinnamon. If you have five-spice powder on hand, feel free to substitute the spices with 1/4 tsp five-spice powder.
Making the sauce couldn’t be easier, you add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth and well combined. For a smoother texture, feel free to use a blender.
Hoisin sauce can be used to glaze tofu, tempeh, seitan, or as a dipping sauce for fries, roasted vegetables, or tofu nuggets! If you are looking to use this sauce right away, check out these Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Bowls! More recipes to come!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Easy Hoisin Sauce
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 medjool dates, pitted (or 5 small dates)
- 1/3 cup soybean paste (or brown miso)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp white rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/8 tsp ground coriander
- 1/16 tsp ground anise
- 1/16 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp chili paste (sambal oelek or hot sauce, to taste)
- Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, or blender. Process for 10-15 seconds, or until smooth.
- Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. Hoisin sauce will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.