Paleo Hoisin Sauce

3 minute read

Tangy umami forward hoisin sauce with a touch of sweetness is the perfect sauce for grilled meats and veggies or to use in stir fries and more! Also known as Peking sauce, this simple and quick sauce is made is less than 10-minutes and will blow your tastebuds away!

What is Umami?

Umami, which means “pleasant savory taste” in Japanese is one of the five tastes we experience when we eat food: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.  Think of umami as the savory flavor of a food that is typically associated with broths, meats, and cheeses, but is also found in foods such as mushrooms, spinach, garlic and tomatoes. Umami is experienced when any of the three umami compounds (the amino acid glutamate, inosinate, and guanylate) found in various foods come into contact with specific taste receptors, so eat up and find your favorite umami foods!

Why Paleo?

With so many lifestyle options, why did I choose to make this hoisin sauce Paleo and Whole30 friendly?

1. Sugar.  Refine white sugar (white beet sugar) has a few characteristics that I find undesirable, so I avoid it at all costs.

  • GMO: white beets or sugar beets are genetically modified to be herbicide resistant and grown with glyphosates (RoundUP)
  • Ultra Refine: sugar beets are highly refine to produce the sugar products used in so many foods: condiments, cereals, snacks, breads, candies and more.

2.  Organic.  By choosing to make my own sauce at home, I am able to choose the quality of the ingredients that go into my sauce.  Choosing ingredients such as coconut aminos, unsweetened tahini, and more I know that what I am serving my family is the cleanest, most nutritionally dense food I can.

3.  Whole Food Ingredients: Processed and ultra refined foods such as sugar, salt, flours and oils are inflammatory to the body and are void of nutrients.  The refinement process eliminates the bioavailable nutrients in these foods and although some of these foods have been “fortified” (where the food companies try to add the nutrients back in) these are typically synthetic and are not as available to the body and are not absorbed.

Choosing minimally processed ingredients maintains nutrient density, is more bioavailable to the body, and is does not have the inflammatory properties ultra refined foods do.

So grab your ingredients and let’s make some Paleo hoisin sauce!

Paleo Hoisin Sauce Ingredients

Makes approximately 16 ounces

½ cup Coconut Aminos

1 Tbsp Fish Sauce*

1 Tbsp Pure Sesame Seed Oil

1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice

2 tsp Arrowroot starch or Tapioca starch

½-1 Tbsp Unsulphured Molasses

1-2 Tbsp Pure Raw Honey** or Pure Maple Syrup

¼ cup Smooth Tahini

2-3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced

1-2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (opt)

*Omit for vegetarian and vegan, sub in 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

**Use pure maple syrup for vegan

How to Make Paleo Hoisin Sauce

1. In a small bowl combine the lime juice and arrowroot/tapioca starch and mix well to make a slurry.

2. In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, add all the remaining ingredients and whisk well to combined.

3. Bring the sauce to a low simmer then add the lime and starch slurry mixture and bring back to a low simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken the sauce.

4. Use immediately or transfer to a glass jar with a lid for later.

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Q: Can I use corn starch to thicken the hoisin sauce?

A: If you want to keep it Paleo/Whole30 friendly you should try and stick with arrowroot or tapioca starch, if not, then feel free to use corn starch.

Q: How long will hoisin sauce last?

A: Store hoisin sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2-weeks, which is great to have on hand for an easy stir fry or to brush on grilled chicken or fish!

Q: Is hoisin sauce the same as oyster sauce?

A: Hoisin sauce and oyster sauce have different flavor profiles, hoisin sauce tends to be on the sweeter side and oyster sauce is more salty and fishy in flavor.

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products and kitchen gear I love. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Almond Milk and Cookies!


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Welcome to Almond Milk and Cookies where good food, health and lots of flavor go hand-in-hand!

I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.

Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.

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