This low-carb and keto hoisin sauce tastes like the real deal: it's thick, salty, sweet and rich in flavor.
Hoisin sauce is an important ingredient in many Asian dishes — whether it's used as a marinade, a dipping sauce or for flavoring a dish. We love to use it in stir fries and other dishes like mu shu pork and Asian chicken lettuce wraps.
Unfortunately, store-bought hoisin sauce is high in carbs since it's typically made with sugar, starches (like wheat and rice) and soybeans. Two tablespoons of store-bought hoisin sauce is usually 20 net carbs or more.
This keto hoisin sauce includes several traditional ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, and rice vinegar. However, to create a thick sauce with deep flavor, we also include sugar-free peanut butter and blackstrap molasses.
Blackstrap molasses helps replicate the taste of traditional hoisin sauce. It's considered a low-glycemic sugar and has the lowest sugar concentration of all molasses varieties. It also contains several vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium. We use just a teaspoon, which adds 2 grams of net carbs per serving. If you decide to omit, you'll get a more peanut tasting sauce, which is also delicious.
Just a little hoisin sauce goes a long way in recipes since it's uber-flavorful and concentrated. And any leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge for several weeks, so you can use again and again for quick weeknight stir-fries or other Chinese dishes.
Each serving of this sauce is 2 grams of net carbs.
A few notes on key ingredients:
- Soy sauce or tamari: Much of the salty, umami flavor in hoisin comes from soy sauce. If you're gluten free, you can use tamari or coconut aminos.
- Peanut Butter: Peanut butter helps create a thick sauce and enhances the nutty flavor. Be sure to purchase sugar-free peanut butter — we use Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter.
- Blackstrap molasses: Blackstrap molasses is used to replicate the taste of traditional hoisin. It's considered a low-glycemic sugar and has the lowest sugar concentration of all molasses varieties. It also contains several vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium. We use just a teaspoon, which adds 2 net carbs per serving. You may omit if you prefer. If you do, the sauce will have a more peanutty taste, which is also delicious.
- Brown erythritol: Brown erythritol sweetens the sauce and enhances the molasses flavor. We use Swerve Brown.
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil adds a nutty flavor and is important in creating a deep, rich sauce.
- Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar adds tanginess, an important element of the sauce.
- Minced garlic: Garlic is another must and key to the overall flavor.
- Sambal: Sambal adds a little spiciness to the sauce (traditional sauces sometimes use red chili peppers). We use just a little, but you can use more or less to taste.
How to Make
Step 1: In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Whisk together until thoroughly combined, and simmer on low for a few minutes until thickened.
Step 2: Remove from heat and let cool. Use as needed in recipes and store in fridge following.
Store leftover hoisin sauce in a covered container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Or, you can store in the freezer in an air-tight container for three months. Remember, you can make quick stir-fry dishes whenever you have hoisin sauce around!
Molasses is high in carbs since it's produced from sugar cane or beet juice. Black strap molasses has the lowest sugar concentration of all molasses varieties. Light or plain molasses has the highest concentration and is the most common variety sold in stores in the United States. However, when used sparingly, blackstrap molasses can be included in low-carb recipes.
Blackstrap molasses adds a bold molasses flavor to recipes. Therefore, you typically use less of it (compared to lighter molasses) in recipes. Blackstrap molasses also has the lowest sugar concentration of all molasses varieties. And unlike light molasses, blackstrap molasses contains several vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
Blackstrap molasses is much thicker, darker and bolder in flavor than light molasses. Light molasses, the most common variety sold at stores in the United States, is lighter, sweeter and milder in flavor. Light molasses is also used to make cookies softer and bread crustier. Blackstrap and light molasses can not be used interchangeably in recipes.
Yes, just be aware that the sauce will taste different. It will be more peanutty in taste, but it will still be a delicious and savory sauce.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
The Best Keto Hoisin Sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce or Tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons sugar-free peanut butter (we use Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter)
- 3 ½ tablespoons Swerve Brown Sweetener or other brown erythritol
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- Prepare sauce: In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Whisk together until thoroughly combined, and simmer on low for a few minutes until thickened.
- Finish: Remove from heat and let cool. Use as needed in recipes and store in fridge following.
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