Homemade Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce Recipe, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan, and Easy

I grew up with Chinese food at home on a regular basis. Soy sauce and hoisin sauce were some of the staple condiments used in my home. But ever since going gluten free almost 9 years ago, I haven't had any hoisin sauce. I can barely ever find it locally, and when I do, it always has gluten in it.

For the longest time, for some strange reason, I thought it was made with plums, then I realized I was mixing up umeboshi paste and hoisin sauce.

Lately, as I've been looking into different Asian recipes to make for my family (and you), I kept on coming upon recipes that called for hoisin sauce, and then needed to find alternatives without hoisin sauce. Until I finally said "Why not just see if I can make my own version?"

As I was doing my research about how to make my own hoisin sauce, so many homemade versions had peanut butter in it, and others had tahini in it, and those both seemed wrong. No, peanut butter is in pad thai sauce, not hoisin sauce, and tahini is middle eastern, not Chinese!

So I decided to do some research about what authentic hoisin sauce is made from, and its is predominantly made from soybeans. Fermented soybean paste! And none of these recipes I was finding mentioned soybeans, let alone fermented soy beans! But you know what is fermented soy beans? Miso! I knew I'd be looking for a hoisin sauce recipe using miso. And, though my brain insisted otherwise, sesame seeds are a traditional ingredient for hoisin sauce, so I guess tahini does actually make sense for it as well. But peanut butter? That's out. I'm not sure what led to so many hoisin sauce recipes online call for peanut butter...

I ended up finding these three recipes that ended up looking most promising, using the ingredients that are meant to be found in hoisin sauce. And the result was undeniably delicious. And surprisingly easy to make.

Hoisin sauce, once you have it, can be used in a variety of ways. One of the most famous ways is in char siu pork, Chinese barbecue pork, as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or dumplings or steamed buns, or in stir fries, and it is commonly added to pho in Vietnam.

Once you make it, it should keep in the fridge for at least a week, more than that I can't promise you. This was enough to make one jar, as shown.

To keep this gluten free, make sure to use gluten free soy sauce and gluten free miso. This recipe is vegan as written.

If you want, you can replace the first six ingredients in the recipe with 2 teaspoons of Chinese Five Spice Powder, as this is ad hoc my version of that.

Homemade Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce Recipe, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan, and Easy

2 cloves
1 cardamom pod
1/2 small cinnamon stick
1 pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 cup oil
6 large cloves of garlic
1/4 cup tahini paste
1/3-1/2 cup miso to taste
1/3-1/2 cup jaggery syrup or other sweetener to taste
1 tablespoon vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon rice flour
1/2-1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce (pr to taste)
1 dash sriracha sauce (or to taste)

1. Grate or finely mince your garlic.

2. Saute it in oil along with the spices until starting to lightly brown.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, other than soy sauce and rice flour. Use a whisk to make everything as uniform as possible. Add less miso at first, and then more to taste. Do the same with the sweetener. Depending on how salty or concentrated your miso is, you might want more or less. I used my dad's homemade miso for mine, so its a little runnier than the store bought stuff.

4. If it can still do with some more saltiness, add the soy sauce.

5. Add the rice flour, mix well, then heat up to thicken.

6. Let cool before using.


Here is some stir fry I made, sauce made entirely out of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and water. It was delicious and a hit with my friends to whom I served it.

Have you ever had hoisin sauce before? Do you buy it or make it? If you make it, how do you make yours? What is your favorite use for hoisin sauce? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I have not made this hoisin sauce. From what I am seeing here it appears to be a nice recipe.

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