Karl’s Keto Hoisin Sauce

I decided that I should make a Ketogenic Hoisin sauce to go with my pork lettuce cups.  I looked online for a recipe to tweak and was very disappointed in what I found.  In my opinion, there are three things which really do not belong in Hoisin sauce: peanut butter, honey, and ketchup.

The base ingredient of Hoisin sauce is usually fermented soybean paste. You may substitute black bean paste, which is made of fermented mung beans. Using peanut butter as a base would make it a South Asian sauce, not Chinese Hoisin sauce.

I want to make a sauce that is in keeping with what you might make in China, not a fusion variation. In my time in mainland China I rarely saw honey available in the street markets. And if I ever saw ketchup it would have been in a “foreigners only store.” I will not be adding these common ingredients of “homemade Hoisin sauce recipes” in mine.

Many of these online recipes for Hoisin do not include, what I believe is, a key ingredient to the sauce. Chinese Five Spice is a blend of anise, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and star anise.

To make the recipe ketogenic I will be leaving out the sugar as unnecessary carbohydrates. The bean sauces both have a little sugar in them, but it is way down on their ingredients list. In commercial Hoisin sauce sugar is the first ingredient. Leaving out the sugar might not work if I was going to use this as a dipping sauce, but as a sauce for meat and vegetables the sugar should not be missed.

Karl’s Keto Hoisin Sauce


3 Tbs. chili bean sauce (or chili black bean sauce)

1 Tbs. soy sauce

1 clove garlic, mashed fine

½ tsp. sesame oil

½ tsp. black vinegar

½ tsp. Chinese five spice powder

Note: To make this a regular Hoisin sauce, add 1 Tbs. white or brown sugar.


1. Combine all of the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until smooth (about 5 minutes to make a stable sauce).

Note: I have used very low sugar Chili Bean paste but you can mix strait bean paste with unsweetened chili sauce (these will still have a tiny bit of sugar in them).


Filed under Sauces and Spices

3 responses to “Karl’s Keto Hoisin Sauce

  1. Pingback: Karl’s Keto Asian Pork or Chicken Lettuce Cups | Jabberwocky Stew

  2. Pingback: Karl’s Mongolian Lamb Lettuce Wraps | Jabberwocky Stew

  3. Pingback: Karl’s Char Siu (Chinese Barbecued Pork) | Jabberwocky Stew

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