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5 Minute Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce

Gluten-free hoisin sauce is a versatile condiment. Use it as a dipping sauce, in Asian cuisine, stir fry sauce, and more. This customizable homemade version includes a soy-free option.

If you’ve ever tried to find gluten-free hoisin sauce at your local grocery store, you know just how difficult this task can be. Luckily it’s very easy to make it at home. Plus, most recipes call for such a small amount that making a fresh batch whenever you need it will give you the best flavor.

If you’re not familiar with the taste of hoisin sauce, it’s a thick sauce with the perfect balance of salty, sweet, tangy, and umami/savory flavor with subtle hints of spice from the hot sauce, garlic, and black pepper. And is an excellent substitute for real hoisin sauce.

For more homemade gluten-free condiments, try my vegan oyster saucesoy free teriyaki sauce, and Japanese spicy mayo.

Ingredients

Unlike store-bought sauce, there’s no caramel color, citric acid, or xanthan gum. To make this homemade hoisin sauce recipe, you only need a few pantry ingredients such as:

  • Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce – the main ingredient in this salty sauce. See the helpful tips section below on the difference between the two.
  • Creamy peanut butter – this adds a nutty flavor and creamy texture.
  • Honey – to balance out the salty flavor of the soy sauce.
  • Rice vinegar – adds a tangy flavor 
  • Toasted sesame oil – more flavor and nuttiness.
  • White miso paste – more umami flavor.
  • Fresh garlic – this gets sauteed, so its flavor isn’t overly pungent. 
  • Sriracha sauce – adds a hint of spice without making it spicy and is more so there for dimension.
  • Black pepper. 
  • Corn starch – mixed with cold water to make a slurry, which helps thicken the sauce.

​See the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients.

How to Make Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce

Step 1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the tamari or gluten-free soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, sriracha, white miso paste, garlic, and black pepper.

Step 2. Make the slurry by whisking together the cold water and cornstarch until the starch has dissolved then mix it into the sauce.

Step 3. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce starts to thicken then remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely before storing. It’ll thicken as it cools.

A bowl of homemade gluten free hoisin sauce.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

​Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this gluten-free hoisin sauce using what you already have? Here are some ideas…

  • Make it soy-free – use coconut aminos instead of tamari or gluten-free soy sauce and use chickpea miso (or omit the miso completely). You’ll also need to add a little salt.
  • No peanut butter? – you can also use cashew butter or almond butter for a similar nuttiness.
  • Make it nut-free – use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.
  • No honey? – use molasses, brown sugar, or maple syrup in its place.
  • No fresh garlic? – use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
  • No corn starch? – you can also use potato starch or tapioca starch/flour.

How to Use Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce

When using this versatile sauce, a little goes a long way.

You can use it in Chinese cooking, Asian recipes such as Vietnamese peanut sauce to go with fresh spring rolls, dim sum, and other Cantonese cuisine, stir-fry sauce, Chinese barbecue sauce, seafood dishes, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the color of my sauce different than yours?

The color of your sauce will vary depending on the color of your honey, if you substituted molasses, brown sugar, or maple syrup, and whether you use peanut butter versus tahini (which is much lighter in color).

The flavor will still be very similar regardless of the color of the sauce.

Are tamari and gluten-free soy sauce the same thing?

Although they’re often referred to as the same thing, they’re actually different.

Tamari sauce comes from Japan and is made by pressing the liquid from fermented soybean paste (miso). It’s naturally gluten-free, but some manufacturers add wheat so be sure to read the ingredient label to ensure that it’s certified gluten-free. It’s also slightly thicker and darker than gluten-free soy sauce.

Gluten-free soy sauce is Chinese and has been fermented with rice instead of wheat (like many regular soy sauces).

How to store gluten-free hoisin sauce?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

More Homemade Gluten Free Asian Sauces

5 Minute Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce

5 from 1 vote
A bowl of homemade gluten free hoisin sauce.
Gluten-free hoisin sauce is a versatile condiment. Use it as a dipping sauce, in Asian cuisine, stir fry sauce, and more. This customizable homemade version includes a soy-free option.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serving Size 7 tablespoons

Ingredients
 

  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter or substitute, see notes
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or substitute, see notes

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the tamari or gluten-free soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, sriracha, white miso paste, garlic, and black pepper.
  • Make the slurry. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and cornstarch until combined then mix it into the sauce.
  • Simmer for a few minutes until the mixture starts to thicken, then remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely before storing. It’ll thicken as it cools.

Notes

This recipe makes 7 tablespoons of sauce.
Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations
Make it soy-free – use coconut aminos instead of tamari or gluten-free soy sauce and use chickpea miso (or omit the miso completely). You’ll also need to add a little salt.
No peanut butter? – you can also use cashew butter or almond butter for a similar nuttiness.
Make it nut-free – use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.
No honey? – use molasses, brown sugar, or maple syrup in its place.
No fresh garlic? – use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
No corn starch? – you can also use potato starch or tapioca starch/flour.

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