January 24th, 2014

How to make all-natural Hoisin Sauce in 7 minutes

Homemade all natural Hoisin Sauce recipe | One Hungry Mama

Just like when I posted my recipe for homemade ricotta, I bet a lot of you are scratching your heads wondering why in the world you’d bother making hoisin sauce from scratch. It’s a fair question and, unless you’re super into cooking with plenty of time to enjoy scratch kitchen projects, I don’t generally expect you to make things like condiments from scratch. Unless, of course, it’s difficult to find a healthy version, which I’ve found to be the case with hoisin sauce.

We love hoisin sauce in my house, but I’ve been uneasily turning a blind eye to the fact that I can’t find an all-natural version without preservatives, coloring agents, and/or MSG. (Even the organic house brand at one of the big all natural markets has “caramel color” and a bunch of fillers.) I’ve been telling myself that it isn’t a big deal since we use so little at a time and otherwise enjoy a diet free of chemicals, but it’s been really bugging me. And then, just like that, I found a recipe—an easy recipe—for homemade hoisin sauce. It’s good, too.

A couple of weeks ago, after deciding not to buy a new jar of store-bought hoisin, I picked up the highly ridiculed cookbook by Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good. I didn’t think that the two were related, but maybe they were? Maybe I was in some sort of new year, fresh start, clean eating mode without realizing it. Either way, the I bought the book and, as much as I didn’t want to like it, I do. I like it a lot. And it has a recipe for hoisin sauce.

Jackpot.

The book isn’t for everyone and I take exception to some of Gwyneth’s claims. But, though I may not totally agree with the premise of the book, the recipes are right up my alley, hard-to-find ingredients and all. Or maybe I’m just that excited to have found a recipe for an easy, delicious, all-natural hoisin sauce.

Eating hoisin stress-free is honestly worth the price of the book for me. Since it may not be for you, I’ll just share the recipe. Then you can enjoy all-natural hoisin, too, if you are so inclined, and decide for yourself about the book. It’s all good.

Lee’s Hoisin Sauce
Recipe from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrwo
(Can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*
Makes about 1 cup

1 tablespoon neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed, or safflower oil)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 cup red miso paste
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar (I used standard rice vinegar)

1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and five-spice powder and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and cook, whisking or stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Let the sauce cool before using. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days.

*Note: Small amounts of this flavorful condiment can safely be shared with eaters as young as 6-months-old. Just keep in mind that miso is quite salty and also that baby’s taste buds are more sensitive than ours. A little of this hoisin will go a long way with little eaters. Consider mixing it into brown rice with flaked fish, pureeing with fresh sautéed snap peas or green beans, or adding to any other simple vegetable or grain puree.

Next Post »

24 Responses

  1. Lyn C says:

    Thanks so much for this – it sounds like just the answer for my noodle-loving 3 yr old and adventurous almost 1 yr old. I have been wondering what to do since the local Chinese supermarket closed as I don’t really like feeding the kids the standard supermarket sauces. As you say, even the organic ones seem to be full of nonsense. Guilt-free noodles for dinner tonight :)

  2. One Hungry Mama says:

    You’re welcome! (I want guilt-free noodles for dinner every night! ;-)

  3. chad henry says:

    Thanks for sharing this, and also for the positive take on Paltrow’s second cookbook. She DOES get an awful lot of flack but I think her head’s in the right place–I think she might be a little extreme in her health ideas but it’s good to know you like the recipes. I usually get miso mail order from South River miso and I don’t think they make a “red” variety–I’ll have to check my local Japanese mercantile here in Denver.

  4. la petite maison says:

    Thank you for this alternative! Hoisin sauce is a staple in my pantry, and I’m relieved that i can have it without compromising my clean diet.

  5. Courtney says:

    Hello, can you tell me where I can purchase the Chinese 5 spice powder, or what would be compatible to it? thanks!

  6. One Hungry Mama says:

    It should be in any supermarket’s spice aisle. Most major, mainstream brands sell it now! Good luck.

  7. Kari says:

    I’m so happy that this is here. I just recently had to cut gluten out of my diet, and hoisin sauce is one of the few things I was mourning the loss of. I’m so excited that there’s an alternative!!! Thank you for posting it!

  8. Catherine says:

    I loved this homemade sauce on both the main dish of salmon patties and the side dish of steamed mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, orange and yellow sliced carrots). Delicious!

  9. One Hungry Mama says:

    I’m so glad you found this recipe, Kari!

  10. One Hungry Mama says:

    I know – don’t you want it over everything?! Glad you enjoyed this!

  11. Amber says:

    Hi there,
    with the miso paste, is the 1/2 cup made up with water (as soup form) or just straight from the packet (still as a paste)

    Thanks in advance!

  12. One Hungry Mama says:

    Hi @Amber – it’s 1/2 cup of miso paste, straight from the package. Enjoy!

  13. Kathy says:

    I found everything organic at Whole Foods, even the Chinese five spice powder. That gets rid of any GMOs which is why I decided to mske my own. Plus no additives is a bonus.

  14. Heather says:

    Red miso is made with barley which means its not gluten free. White miso usually is gluten free though.

    H.

  15. Mandy says:

    Thank you for this!

  16. One Hungry Mama says:

    Heather: you’re correct! Thank you for the catch. Some miso paste is GF, but not red. Apologies and corrected.

  17. One Hungry Mama says:

    Kari: Sadly, my original post accidentally labeled this recipe gluten-free. Though some miso pasta is GF, red is not usually as it is typically made from barley. I’m so sorry! I think it’s worth experimenting with this recipe using GF miso pastes. The flavor may not be as exact as when using red miso paste, but I bet you can get close given that 5 spice power is the big flavor agent here. I found this post on GF miso pastes that might be helpful: http://www.thekitchn.com/miso-alternatives-glutenfree-and-soyfree-196043

  18. sarah says:

    I am sorry but Barley is glutenous. Please be more responsible with your quality of descriptions.
    The only gluten free Hoisin sauce on the market is one made by Westcountry Spice based in Devon UK, which has no nasties or added colours and tastes as good as an authentic chines sauce

    Thanks and please post this!

    Sarah x

  19. Hi, Sarah: Thanks for your comment—it is a an incredibly important correction, I agree. If you’ll see though, the correct has been made for quite some while and there is already a discussion between myself and another reader in the comments about this (including an apology for my serious oversight). Anyway, not sure how you got to this post, but I think you must have linked in from some other site that erroneously still features this as GF even though I no longer do. Feel free to specify how you got here since I may be able to speak directly to the site about making a correction on their end, too.

  20. BL: Thank you for pointing out the URL. I’ve fixed the content of the post, made several notes in the comments and was wondering why this was still an issue. I forgot to rename the URL. Thank you so much for the heads up.

  21. Steeny says:

    One of the main flavors in Hoisin sauce is Tamarind. . . and I love that flavor, so think I’ll keep searching. Really? Maple syrup?

  22. One Hungry Mama says:

    @Steeny, to my knowledge, tamarind is not an ingredient in hoisin (though I love the flavor of tamarind, too!). I have had tamarind hoisin sauce, but that’s a hybrid. anyway, if you dig the flavor of traditional hoisin you really should give this a try. It’s delicious and pretty spot on. As for the maple syrup, it’s just a sweetener. Most hoisin sauces would use sugar and the syrup provides a similar sweetness in a less refined form.

  23. msQuel says:

    I liked the recipe and I did end up using gluten free White Miso paste (soybean and rice) for celiac need. And you don’t end up with any ingredients in there which are toxic to some, such as myself. And to 40 year baker Gerrie, don’t you think most of us would buy whatever, whenever, if it were that easy? I am on dietary therapy, thanks to a good doctor and biannual labs which ensure I’m free of celiac markers. I appreciate VERY much the effort involved in making a recipe which does taste the same as something which is taken for granted by so many “normals” out there. When 4 of the major additives in “food items” are code words for WHEAT.

Leave a Reply