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Hoisin sauce with peanut butter

Our recipe for Hoisin sauce with peanut butter is easy to make and costs half as much as store-bought brands. On top of that, it tastes much better (like way better) than the storebought brands.

I Love Stirfry…

OK, I admit it. I love stirfry. I eat stirfry 3 times a week and sometimes more. Stirfry recipes are so versatile and can include any number of meats along with a myriad of vegetable choices. Then there are the sauces like Kung Pao, General Tso, Sweet & Sour, and Mandarin Orange. Our Hoisin sauce with peanut butter recipe fits nicely into the Asian sauce collection.

Hoisin Sauce with Peanut Butter

Our Hoisin Sauce with Peanut Butter recipe will deliver an authentic Asian sauce to your table. Hoisin chicken and Hoisin beef can become regular additions to your cookbook. Try it today.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 8
Calories 56 kcal


  • 4 tbsp date paste
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp molassas (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (add more for spicier sauce)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced or crushed)
  • 1/4 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch


  • Add date paste, peanut butter, maplesyrup, and molasses to a medium-sized bowl and stir with a whisk until smooth.
  • Now add all other ingredients (except the cornstarch) and mix again until combined. You can also blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  • The sauce is medium thick but if you want it to be even thicker and smoother, I recommend the saucepan method: Add the ingredients along with the cornstarch to a saucepan and stir with a whisk. Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for about 30 seconds.
  • Taste the sauce and add more soy sauce/rice vinegar/sweetener/hot sauce, etc. if needed. Enjoy as a dip for summer rolls, spring rolls, or as a sauce for stir-fries!


  • Date paste: If you want to make the Hoisin sauce in a food processor or blender, you can use 2 Medjool dates or 4-5 small dates instead of date paste. Simply add the dates to a small bowl and pour in hot water to just cover the dates. Soak for a couple of minutes until softened. Then discard almost all the soaking water but keep 2 tablespoons and add it to the blender or food processor with all other ingredients. Read the blog post above to find how to make homemade date paste.
  • Substitute for dates: If you can’t have dates, you can use soaked raisins or soaked dried plums instead.
  • Peanut butter: Traditional Hoisin sauce contains black fermented soybean paste. Since it’s unavailable where I live, I used peanut butter for a creamy and thick sauce but feel free to use fermented soybean paste for a more authentic version. Miso paste could be another option.
  • Five-spice powder: To make your own five-spice powder, mix together the following ground spices: A pinch each of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds. You can also include a pinch of nutmeg. If you don’t have all these spices, just use the ones you have. I definitely recommend cinnamon, cloves, and fennel!
Recipe makes about 175 grams (about 3/4 cup). Nutrition facts are for 22 grams (about 1 heaped tablespoon).
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Keyword asian sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut butter

What’s hoisin sauce made of?

Ok, silly question. That is to say, you can look at the recipe and answer the question. But the story is a bit more complicated. The main ingredient in hoisin sauce is date paste. Dates deliver a fruity taste that is not found in most other Asian sauce recipes. As a cook though, you are not limited to just dates. You can use figs, raisins, cranberries, and even cherries. Hoisin also needs a thick texture. Authentic hoisin recipes call for fermented soybean paste, while I use peanut butter. So what’s hoisin made of? I answer, “Dried fruit, thick paste, a little sweet, and a little hot.”

Alternative to hoisin sauce

OK, you’re craving hoisin but lack the ingredients in your pantry. Try one of these simple easy substitute ideas.

  • Garlic teriyaki
    – Kidney beans, molasses, teriyaki sauce, garlic, red wine vinegar.
  • Sriracha and molasses
    -Sriracha, soy sauce, molasses, peanut butter, rice vinegar.
  • Black bean and plums
    -Plums, brown sugar, black beans, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic.

Another alternative to hoisin sauce is oyster sauce. In fact, many people use oyster sauce and hoisin sauce interchangeably. Here is a great article outlining what to substitute for hoisin sauce. Hoisin Sauce substitutes article

Recipes with hoisin sauce

Pork in hoisin sauce

pork in hoisin sauce recipe photo
Pinch of Yum
Pork in hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce with chicken

Beef in hoisin sauce

Tofu with hoisin sauce

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The Whole Serving
Tofu with hoisin sauce

Shrimp with hoisin sauce

shrimp in hoisin sauce with peanut butter recipe photo
The Recipe Critic
Shrimp with hoisin sauce

Salmon with hoisin sauce

Try Our Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe. It’s Comfort Food…

Hoisin sauce FAQs

  • What does hoisin taste like?

    What does hoisin taste like? The flavor of hoisin sauce is salty and slightly sweet. It is a little bit like American barbecue sauce. It is, however, saltier, richer, and possesses a distinct flavor that sets it apart. In addition, the sauce has a spicy kick. Finally, Hoisin sauce is distinguished by its distinct umami flavor due to the fermented soybeans.

  • Is hoisin sauce like soy sauce?

    Is hoisin sauce like soy sauce? Yes. Hoisin is thicker and sweeter than soy sauce. Hoisin sauce contains soy sauce, but it also contains a number of other ingredients that give the sauce its own flavor and texture.

  • Where does hoisin sauce come from?

    Where does hoisin sauce come from? It is Cantonese and originally meant fish sauce, even though modern Hoisin sauce has no fish products in it.

  • Is hoisin sauce fish sauce?

    No. Hoisin sauce is made with fermented soybeans.

  • Are hoisin and oyster sauce the same?

    Are hoisin and oyster sauce the same? Despite its similarities to oyster sauce, hoisin sauce is a thick, reddish-brown sauce with a sweet-salty flavor. While oyster sauce is made with oysters, Hoisin is made with fermented soybeans.

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  1. 4 stars
    Nice recipe but peanut butter is not authentic bobguy. Maybe peanut oil but not peanut butter. I could see how it works though.

    1. Thanks for your reply and you are right, peanut butter is not authentic. I use it in hoisin sauce because it is readily available. ?

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