This hoisin peanut sauce is an umami-packed triple threat of salty, sweet and savoury. It’s a sure crowd-pleaser and the perfect accompaniment to Vietnamese spring rolls, dumplings, fried tofu and more.
The Vietnamese peanut sauce recipe is surprisingly easy to make and takes only a few minutes to whip up. You’ll need some pantry staples like hoisin sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil and soy sauce.
And with just a few simple tweaks, you can customize it to your own taste.
Serve the hoisin and peanut butter sauce with your favourite dishes or drizzle it over a bowl of Vietnamese noodles. The hoisin dipping sauce is perfect for fresh spring rolls.
Why you’ll love hoisin peanut sauce
Vietnamese peanut dipping sauce is a delicious and versatile sauce that you can use for everything from rice paper rolls and crispy air fryer spring rolls to stir-fries and lettuce wraps.
And there’s more to love about this tasty peanut hoisin sauce:
- Quick and easy: It takes just 10 minutes to make this flavour-packed sauce.
- Versatile: Use it as a dipping sauce, stir-fry sauce, salad dressing or marinade!
- Savoury and sweet: The combination of hoisin sauce and peanut butter gives the homemade dipping sauce an umami-packed, savoury and sweet flavour that’s sure to please any crowd.
- Plant-based: This peanut dipping sauce is naturally vegan (unless you swap the soy sauce for fish sauce).
- Customizable: You can adjust the flavour to your preference with a little bit of lime juice, sriracha or a pinch of salt.
What is hoisin peanut sauce?
Hoisin peanut sauce is an Asian-style dipping sauce with a sweet and salty flavour. It’s a popular accompaniment for gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese spring rolls) and other Vietnamese dishes.
To make this peanut dipping sauce, you’ll need creamy peanut butter, hoisin sauce (or oyster sauce), soy sauce (or fish sauce), sesame oil, sugar and optional red pepper flakes, hot sauce or fresh chillies for a spicy peanut sauce.
You can also add fresh ginger, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seed butter for extra flavour and texture.
Hoisin peanut sauce ingredients and substitutes
This easy peanut butter sauce takes only minutes to make and requires only a handful of ingredients.
- Neutral cooking oil: I use canola oil, but you can also use vegetable oil, sunflower oil or avocado oil.
- Garlic: I use freshly minced garlic, but you can also use grated fresh ginger for a tangy flavour.
- Hoisin sauce: This thick, sweet and pungent sauce is an essential ingredient in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. If you can’t find hoisin sauce or if you need a gluten-free substitute, you can use your favourite barbeque sauce.
- Natural peanut butter: I prefer a smooth and creamy peanut butter for a silky sauce. If you want a chunkier consistency, add 2 tablespoons of crushed peanuts or use chunky peanut butter. Chinese sesame paste is a great alternative if you don’t have peanut butter.
- Sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil boosts the nutty flavour of the sauce.
- Soy sauce or fish sauce: In the recipe card, I use soy sauce. But I often make the hoisin peanut butter sauce with fish sauce for extra umami flavour – the sauce will no longer be suitable for vegans. You can also use sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) for a sweeter peanut sauce.
- Water: Add more water, a tablespoon of water at a time, to reach your desired consistency.
- Rice vinegar: This adds a mild acidity to balance the sweet and salty sauce. Fresh lime juice is a delicious alternative. Or you can use white wine vinegar.
- Sriracha sauce (optional): Add a teaspoon of Sriracha chilli sauce for a hint of spicy heat. You can also use chilli garlic sauce or sambal oelek to spice things up.
How to make hoisin peanut sauce
This peanut butter hoisin sauce is an incredibly versatile condiment that you can whip up in just a few minutes.
The trick is to simmer it until the sauce has a glossy, thick yet slightly runny texture. Then adjust to taste until the flavour of the hoisin and peanut butter is well balanced.
Step 1: Heat a tablespoon of neutral cooking oil in a small saucepan.
Then add two cloves of minced garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and golden – about two to three minutes.
Step 2: Add the hoisin sauce, two tablespoons of smooth peanut butter, one tablespoon of sesame oil, two teaspoons of soy sauce (or fish sauce) and a quarter cup of water.
Stir until the peanut butter is completely dissolved.
Step 3: Bring the sauce to a simmer and turn down the heat to low. Simmer for another two minutes, stirring often.
Whisk in one tablespoon of water at a time until the sauce is glossy and has a slightly runny texture. I add two tablespoons, but you can add less if you prefer a thicker sauce.
Step 4: Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in one tablespoon of rice vinegar and one teaspoon of sriracha sauce (if using).
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your preference.
For a chunkier consistency, you can add two tablespoons of crushed peanuts.
Refrigerate the peanut hoisin sauce in an airtight container for up to five days. The sauce will thicken as it cools so whisk in a tablespoon of hot water to thin it out if needed. Allow the sauce to warm up to room temperature for serving.
Hoisin peanut sauce is more than just a peanut dipping sauce for spring rolls. It makes a delicious salad dressing, noodle sauce or stir-fry sauce. Why not make double?
This easy hoisin peanut dipping sauce is a must-have in any Vietnamese or Asian-inspired cook’s repertoire. With just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes of your time, you can whip up a batch of this delicious sauce.
Serve this peanut hoisin sauce with:
- Vietnamese rice paper rolls,
- spring rolls,
- fried wontons,
- sweet potato fries,
- steamed buns, or
- any other snack you like!
Or, use it as a dressing for salads, Asian slaws, stir-fries or rice bowls. It pairs well with coconut milk for an ultra-creamy noodle sauce.
Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Alternatively, you can buy store-bought peanut sauce if you are short on time. But nothing beats the flavour of homemade!
Frequently asked questions
Traditional Vietnamese peanut sauce is usually made with ground peanuts, fish sauce, garlic, sugar, lime juice, and water. But this hoisin peanut sauce takes a few shortcuts with shop-bought flavour boosters like hoisin sauce and smooth peanut butter.
Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet and savoury sauce made from fermented soybeans, garlic, sugar, vinegar and spices. Learn more about the difference between hoisin sauce and oyster sauce.
No, hoisin sauce does not contain peanuts. But it pairs very well with the nutty flavour of peanut butter or sesame paste.
Hoisin sauce is a popular condiment used to flavour stir-fries, marinades, and dressings. It is also commonly used as a dipping sauce for wontons, egg rolls, and dumplings. Add peanut butter for a deliciously nutty hoisin peanut dipping sauce
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce , or fish sauce for extra umami
- ¼ cup water , or more as needed
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (optional)
- Place the cooking oil and minced garlic in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and golden but before it is brown – about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Then add the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce (or fish sauce), and ¼ cup water. Mix well. Bring the sauce to a simmer and turn the heat down low to gently simmer the peanut sauce for another 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Whisk in water, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is glossy and has a slightly runny texture. It should be thick enough to coat a spring roll when dipped but not so thick that you can scoop up a heaped teaspoonful. I typically add another 2 tablespoons.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the rice vinegar and sriracha sauce (if using).
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your preference. Add a pinch of salt for a savoury boost or sriracha for heat.
- Refrigerate the sauce in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The peanut sauce will thicken as it cools. Whisk in a tablespoon of hot water to thin it out if needed.
- I prefer a smooth dipping sauce, but you can add 2 tablespoons of crushed peanuts if you want a chunkier consistency.
- Serve the Vietnamese peanut sauce with spring rolls, summer rolls, dumplings, fried tofu and more. You can also use it as a stir-fry sauce for noodles or vegetables.