In just minutes you can make your own Homemade Hoisin Sauce and add some delicious sweet, salty from scratch flair to all of your favorite Asian inspired dishes!
Friends, this is one that I have been wanting to serve from scratch for awhile. I've tried it a couple of times and wasn't happy with the results, but now, oooh now I've finally gotten it down and here it is. Here it is and I am so excited to share this Homemade Hoisin Sauce with you all!
In just minutes you can make this sweet, salty, umami packed Asian sauce that's one of our favorites to use in many of our noodle and other Asian inspired dishes!
What is Hoisin?
Hoisin, (pronounced HOY-szin) is from the Chinese word meaning "seafood," but there is no seafood product within the sauce. So what is it? It's a thick, sweet and salty sauce that is used in a variety of Asian (not just Chinese) dishes as a marinade, dipping sauce, or punch of umami flavor to add to stir fry or noodle dishes. Sometimes you'll hear it referred to as Chinese BBQ Sauce as it has a similar consistency of a transitional BBQ Sauce, except with a deeper, sweet, salty, soy flavor.
- Soy Sauce - Lite is preferred for this recipe because there's so much salt from some of the other ingredients. Note, Lite is different than low sodium - see recipe notes.
- Black Bean Garlic Sauce - Are you looking at that and going, huh? Ok, trust me, this is key. What is it? Fermented black beans and garlic and it truly needed for a really authentic tasting hoisin sauce.
- Chinese Five Spice - This is another key ingredient to getting the right authentic flavor.
- Sesame Oil - Adding a key sesame flavor.
- Seasoned Rice Vinegar - This adds a little acidity and also a little sweetness.
- Dark Brown Sugar - The main sweet to the sauce and dark brown sugar adds a more complex molasses flavor. No brown sugar? No problem - did you know you can make your own? Only have light brown sugar? No problem, see recipe notes how to make it into dark!
- Pitted Prunes/Dried Plums - The plum flavor is key for this sauce and brings a level of sweetness different than just adding sugar or another sweetener.
- Garlic Powder - You could also add fresh garlic, but we prefer using powered to make sure that it incorporates more into the whole sauce.
Ok, I know that there are lot of ingredients on this list that aren't normal pantry ingredients or that you may not find at your local grocery store, but trust me. Trust me, it makes all the difference. Even though it may mean a trip to your local Asian market, it's worth it. We've tried a few recipes that try to substitute honey or use peanut butter, and no, they are not the same. The Black Bean Garlic Sauce, Chinese Five Spice and Prunes/Dried Plums are key.
How to Make Hoisin
While you may have to make a special trip to your local Asian market (or an Amazon order), once you have everything you need, it is SO easy.
Easy like throw it all in a food processor and blend. Done!
Tip: I give the prunes a good chop before tossing them into the food processor to help ensure that they blend to a smooth consistency.
That's it! Then it's ready for your favorite dish!
How to Use Homemade Hoisin
It is one of our favorite condiments for our Asian inspired cooking. Here are some of our favorite ways to use it.
- 20 Minute Sweet and Spicy Noodles
- Beef and Spinach Noodles
- Sweet and Sesame Ginger Noodles
- Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Chicken Thighs
It also makes an amazing from scratch dip for some of your other Asian favorites like spring rolls or egg rolls.
Really, any need for something salty and sweet and this sauce is perfect!
Yes. The difference between seasoned rice wine vinegar and regular vinegar is that seasoned rice wine vinegar has added sweetness. If you only have regular, it will still add the right amount of acidity, but may be a little less sweet. You can taste and add a little more sugar, if desired.
Both have lower sodium than regular soy sauce, however, they are different. Lite Soy Sauce usually means that it is Chinese soy sauce, which is thinner and lighter than Japanese soy sauce. Low Sodium Soy Sauce is Japanese soy sauce with just less sodium.
Because of the black bean garlic sauce and the prunes, in order to get a nice smooth consistency, you need to use either a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. But, if the super smooth texture isn't necessary, then you can just chop up those prunes super fine and use a fork / masher to mix it all in well. I've tried this with a Vitamix and unless you're doubling the recipe, it's not enough to get a good blend of all of the prunes.
No problem. If you have some molasses, you can just add a teaspoon of molasses to a 1/2 cup of light brown sugar and bam! Dark brown sugar.
Homemade Hoisin Sauce
- 4 tablespoons lite soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon black bean garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 5 prunes chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Add everything to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Store in an airtight container in fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
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