This simple hoisin peanut butter sauce is so delicious and bold in flavor. It combines hoisin sauce, peanut butter, garlic and a few flavoring ingredients and is done within 5 minutes. Makes for the best sweet and salty sauce to dip in spring rolls, sushi or egg rolls and to use in stir-fries. 100% Vegan.
This hoisin peanut butter sauce is such a simple dipping sauce you can prepare in a pinch, but that delivers a huge amount of flavor. All you need is a few ingredients, a bowl + whisk and 5 minutes!
It makes for the BEST sweet and salty (and a little garlicky) thick sauce to dip in summer rolls or spring rolls. We also love it paired with vegan sushi, especially these sweet potato sushi and shiitake sushi rolls, it makes for a fun change from soy sauce.
Hoisin sauce is of course the big star of this recipe: it is sweet and smoky with some tangy flavor in the background. It brings such a big umami taste to whatever recipe you are using it with without much effort. I love hoisin sauce for stir-fries or noodle dishes, such as this vegan bean sprout chow mein, but using it in dipping sauces is our favorite way to enjoy it.
Here, hoisin sauce is paired with peanut butter and a little soy sauce, rice vinegar and garlic. That's it! We make this Thai peanut butter sauce all the time for all sorts of meals (one of our kids fav!), but PB + hoisin combo is such an amazing pairing.
Add just enough water to make it thin to your taste and include a spoonful of crushed peanuts for some more crunchy yummy texture.
Let me know how you liked it! ❤️
What is Hoisin sauce?
Hoisin sauce is a Chinese (but also used in Vietnamese cooking) dark and thick sauce made principally from fermented soy beans, but also garlic, sugar, spices, red pepper flakes and rice vinegar.
It is often used for cooking meat (as a glaze), in stir-fries and to make dipping sauces. It has a sweet and salty taste with a deep and intense flavor, almost smoky. Hoisin sauce makes it very easy to flavor dishes with a complex Chinese-influenced taste!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy and quick, done in 5 minutes!
- No cooking and no blending required
- Great for meal-prep
- Very bold in flavor
- Versatile and can be served in so many ways
- Perfect dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls!
- Naturally vegan & dairy-free
Ingredients you'll need
- Hoisin sauce: easy to find in most grocery stores, usually in the Asian section.
- Peanut butter: choose natural peanut butter that's unsweetened. Smooth or chunky both work! We love the smooth peanut butter from the brand 365.
- Rice vinegar: you won't add a lot, just a touch for an extra tangy flavor.
- Soy sauce: helps boost the saltiness and umami flavor of the sauce.
- Garlic: I used one small clove of garlic, but feel free to add more or even omit.
- Crushed peanuts: optional, but it adds extra texture to the otherwise smooth sauce. Chunky peanut butter would also add more texture.
- Water: to taste, to thin out the sauce to a desired consistency.
How to make Vietnamese hoisin peanut sauce
In a medium bowl, add the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar and garlic. Then, use a whisk to combine until smooth. It should give you a super thick sauce.
Thin out and serve
Then, add some water to taste until desired consistency. Start with 1 tablespoon, then whisk and repeat until you like the texture. I added 2 tablespoons, but I think you could go up to 4 tablespoons for a loose and pourable consistency.
Watch how to make it
- Getting to the right texture is the trick here: add only a small amount of water at a time! Look for a thicker sauce for a dipping sauce, but aim to make it thinner for a stir-fry (the sauce will get thicker as it cooks in the pan...)
- Hoisin sauces can differ from brand to brand, with some being more or less sweet and tangy. So, you might have to adjust the ingredients to your liking, such as more rice vinegar for more tang and even, a splash of maple syrup if the hoisin sauce isn’t sweet enough for your taste.
- Hoisin is very bold in flavor. If you are new to it and you find it being too overpowering, then simply switch the ratio of hoisin vs peanut butter (use ¼ cup of hoisin with ⅓ cup of peanut butter).
You can serve this sauce topped with crushed peanuts or sesame seeds to add more texture. Or, for a fresh touch, then sprinkle some chopped fresh mint or sliced green onions. And if you love spicy food, then garnish with finely sliced spicy red cayenne pepper or dried red pepper flakes.
This hoisin peanut sauce is a classic dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls (cold rolls). Keep it on the thick side so it sticks to the rolls nicely.
We also love it with vegan sushi (try with these crispy panko avocado rolls) for a change from the soy sauce.
Here are more ways to use this hoisin peanut sauce:
- Over roasted tofu
- In a vegetable stir-fry
- With noodles, especially udon noodles or soba (check out this vegan peanut noodle recipe for more inspiration)
- Over rice or buddha bowls (try with this tofu buddha bowl!)
- In lettuce wraps
- Dipping sauce for tofu egg rolls
- As a salad dressing (make it thinner)
- Even over tacos for a fun Asian twist!
This is such a simple dipping sauce, so you can easily be creative and make it yours. Here are a few ideas:
- Add a small amount of sesame oil: a little goes a long way, so go slow, but a little sesame oil will add a nice nutty flavor that would go well with the other flavors.
- Make it spicy: add a small amount of red pepper flakes when stirring the sauce, or try adding some sriracha or gochujang paste for a nice kick.
- Ginger-y sauce: add a small amount of finely grated fresh ginger to the sauce for more fresh flavor.
- No rice vinegar: you can swap for freshly squeeze lime juice (or lemon), it would make for a nice flavor! Or, use regular white wine vinegar if in a pinch.
- Don't have or don't like hoisin sauce?: you can swap for vegan oyster sauce if you can find it (with a little extra sweetener) or even a teriyaki sauce. Or, make a peanut butter sauce without hoisin!
This sauce stores very well, making it a great recipe to make ahead if you are getting ready for a busy week or if you want to bring it out for lunch.
Keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to one week and add an extra splash of water if needed, as the sauce can thicken up slightly while resting and chilling.
Usually, hoisin sauce isn’t gluten-free. There is soy sauce part of the making and also, some hoisin sauces are thickened using wheat products. So, most of them aren't gluten-free, although you can find some brands that are made without gluten, such as this hoisin sauce from San-J. Also, if looking to make a GF hoisin peanut sauce, then be sure to also omit the soy sauce or replace with a GF tamari sauce.
Yes, most hoisin sauce are naturally vegan! But, I think it is always good to make sure there is no sneaky fish sauce when getting a new Asian sauce.
More dipping sauces you might like
- Thai peanut butter sauce
- Baba ganoush without tahini
- Vegan avocado lime crema
- Vegan avocado green goddess
- Tofu spread
- Vegan mascarpone cheese
- Vegan Hawaiian cheese ball
- Broccoli hummus
- Vegan date caramel dipping sauce
- Vegan chipotle mayo
- Vegan tzatziki
I hope you like this hoisin peanut butter sauce recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Hoisin Peanut Butter Sauce
- ⅓ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup peanut butter - smooth or chunky
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 clove of garlic - crushed
- 2-4 tbsp water - or to taste (to thin out the sauce)
- 1-2 tbsp crushed peanut - for topping, optional
- In a medium bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce and garlic and whisk until smooth.
- Then, add the water one tablespoon at the time and whisk. Repeat until desired consistency.
- Keep the sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. Add an extra splash of water before serving as the sauce can thicken while resting.
- This sauce isn’t naturally gluten-free, but can be made GF by choosing a GF hoisin sauce and GF tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Other ingredients to include in the sauce are sesame oil, sriracha, vegan oyster sauce and spicy red pepper flakes.