Potently flavorful and fragrant, Hoisin sauce is a central ingredient in many Chinese dishes and will work absolute MIRACLES for the foods you add it to! Look no further for the BEST hoisin sauce recipe!
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.
How To Use Hoisin Sauce
It’s pretty much an all-purpose condiment, it’s so delicious on so many things. Here are just a few ways to use it:
- In stir-fries
- In noodles
- Slathered on chicken, pork, ribs, duck or tofu and baked or grilled
- Added to veggies
- Barbecue sauces
- A general substitute for ketchup
- A new twist for meatloaf
- Slathered on 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
- As a dipping sauce for Chinese dumplings, egg rolls, wontons, chicken nuggets, etc.
It’s just plain incredible stuff!
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 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 powder and Chinese five spice (aka black bean paste or black bean garlic paste, made from fermented soy beans).
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.
Below are the homemade versions for the two key ingredients you’ll need to make this incredible sauce:
Homemade Chinese Five Spice Powder (nothing compares to the flavor of freshly ground spice blends!)
Homemade Black Bean Sauce (this stuff is the BEST!)
Black bean sauce is a key ingredient to the best Chinese food, so you’ll want the ingredients on hand to make that anyway (of course you can also use store-bought black bean sauce as well. But honestly, this black bean sauce is seriously the best stuff!)
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 hoisin sauce ever!
Authentic Hoisin Sauce Recipe
Let’s get started!
There are just two steps: 1) Place all the ingredients in a blender and 2) Puree until smooth. That’s it, you’re done!
*NOTE: We’re adding a few prunes for sweetness and texture. However, hoisin sauce is not the same thing as plum sauce.
Store the sauce in the fridge in a non-reactive airtight container. It will keep for about a week.
For more phenomenal Asian condiments, be sure to try our:
BEST Authentic Hoisin Sauce
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons Homemade Chinese Black Bean Sauce
- OR use store-bought Chinese Black Bean Sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 4 prunes
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Homemade Chinese Five Spice Powder (strongly recommended)
- or use store-bought five spice powder
- If you prefer a little heat add some red chilies or sriracha to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Store in the fridge in a non-reactive airtight container. Will keep for at least a week.