What Spices Go with Hoisin Sauce? (10 Best Spices)

If you’re looking for a flavor profile to add a little something extra to your Hoisin sauce recipe, then check out these 10 spices that go great with it.

From sweet and savory to earthy and citrusy, there is something for everyone in this list.

What Spices Go with Hoisin Sauce

Whether you are using Hoisin sauce as a dipping sauce, marinade, or glaze, these spices will give it that extra something that will take your food from good to great.

So if you’re looking for ways to amp up the flavor of your Hoisin sauce, then this list is for you.

What Spices Go with Hoisin Sauce?

There are many spices that go well with hoisin sauce. Some of these include ginger, garlic, chili peppers, green onions, and cilantro. These spices can be used to create a variety of different dishes, such as stir-fries, marinades, and dipping sauces.

If you’re still looking for ideas, then just keep scrolling.

Here are 10 spices that go with hoisin sauce:

1. Ginger


Slightly peppery and sweet, with a pungent and spicy aroma, ginger is a versatile spice that goes well with hoisin sauce.

A little goes a long way – too much ginger can be overpowering – so start with a small amount and add more to taste.

Other complementary spices include star anise, cloves, and cinnamon.

You can add ginger while cooking, or sprinkle it on top of a dish as a finishing touch.

Try it in stir-fries, curries, or on grilled meats.

2. Star Anise


Star anise has a mild and fragrant licorice flavor that goes well with hoisin sauce.

It can be used sparingly, since a little goes a long way.

Other spices and herbs that go well with star anise include cloves, cinnamon, and Sichuan pepper.

Star anise can be added to hoisin sauce when cooking, or sprinkled on top of a dish as a finishing touch.

Try it in stir-fries, marinades, or as a seasoning for roasted meats.

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For a little extra flavor, add a star anise pod to your hoisin sauce when you’re cooking with it.

3. Green Onions

Green Onions

A much lighter flavor than the standard onion, green onion is a perfect way to add a subtle zing to any dish – especially those with hoisin sauce.

I suggest using only the very top of the onion, as the bottom can be quite pungent.

You can also add other herbs and spices to compliment the green onion, such as garlic, ginger, or cilantro.

When adding the green onion, I suggest doing so at the very end of cooking, or even after the dish has been plated.

This will help to keep the onion’s flavor from being overwhelmed.

Some great dishes to use both hoisin sauce and green onion are stir fry, dumplings, or even spring rolls!

4. Spring Onions

Spring Onions

Spring onions have a fresh, sweet, and subtly pungent flavor that goes well with hoisin sauce.

I would recommend using about 1/4 teaspoon of spring onion per serving.

You could also add other herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, and chili pepper to taste.

You can add the spring onion when you are cooking the hoisin sauce, or you can sprinkle it on top of the dish as a garnish.

Some dishes where you can use both hoisin sauce and spring onion are stir-fries, noodle dishes, and dumplings.

A little tip: if you are using spring onion as a garnish, you can slice it very thinly on a mandoline or with a sharp knife so that it cooks evenly and quickly.

5. Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds have a mild, sweet, and nutty flavor that goes well with hoisin sauce.

You only need a small amount of this spice to flavor your dish – a little goes a long way!

Other herbs and spices that pair well with sesame seeds include cumin, chili powder, and ginger.

You can add sesame seeds to your dish at the beginning of cooking, or at the end as a garnish.

Some dishes where you can use both hoisin sauce and sesame seeds include: stir fry, rice, and noodles.

Tip: if you toast the sesame seeds before adding them to your dish, they will have a nuttier flavor.

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6. Honey


Honey can be floral, fruity, smoky, woody, spicy, nutty or earthy, making it a versatile spice to use with hoisin sauce.

To bring out the flavors of the sauce, use a milder honey like clover or alfalfa.

For a more intense flavor, use a darker honey like buckwheat or mesquite.

You can also mix honey with other spices like chili powder, cumin, ginger or garlic.

When using honey with hoisin sauce, start with a small amount and increase to taste.

You can add honey at the beginning of cooking, or at the end as a finishing touch.

Try using honey and hoisin sauce in stir-fries, marinades, glazes, or as a dipping sauce.

Tip: if you find that your hoisin sauce is too sweet, add a little bit of rice vinegar or lime juice to balance it out.

7. Cilantro


Cilantro a fresh, citrusy, and/or soapy taste that can liven up any dish.

It is a perfect compliment to hoisin sauce, which can be a little heavy and sweet.

I would recommend using about a tablespoon of cilantro per dish.

You could also add other herbs and spices like green onions, garlic, or ginger to give the dish even more flavor.

To use cilantro, I would recommend adding it near the end of the cooking process or as a garnish.

This way, the flavor won’t be cooked out.

Some dishes where cilantro would be a great addition are stir-fries, rice dishes, or anything with noodles.

As a tip, if you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can try using parsley instead.

8. Chili


Chili powder is mild to moderately spicy and goes well with hoisin sauce.

Try using 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per tablespoon of hoisin sauce.

You can also add other spices and herbs like cumin, ginger, and garlic powder.

To use, mix the chili powder with the hoisin sauce and then brush it on meat or vegetables.

Grill or bake as desired. Chili powder and hoisin sauce are delicious on chicken, shrimp, and tofu.

9. Allspice


The flavor profile of allspice is multidimensional, featuring notes of cloves, nutmeg, star anise, fennel, black pepper, and cinnamon.

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It’s a powerful spice, so a little goes a long way.

When pairing allspice with hoisin sauce, I like to also add some fresh ginger, garlic, and green onions.

To incorporate allspice into your dish, add it at the beginning of the cooking process so that the flavors have time to meld together.

Allspice goes well with chicken, pork, beef, and lamb.

Try it in a stir-fry, marinade, or glaze.

Tip: Allspice also pairs well with fruit, so if you’re looking for a unique flavor combination, try adding a little allspice to your next hoisin sauce-based dish along with some fresh fruit.

10. Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves

Dried bay leaves have a delicate, warm aroma with a hint of camphor and mint.

They’re an essential ingredient in many Indian, Asian, and Mediterranean dishes.

A little goes a long way with this spice, so start with just one or two leaves and adjust to taste.

Bay leaves pair well with other aromatic spices like cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.

For a hoisin sauce with a little extra depth of flavor, try adding a bay leaf while the sauce simmers.

Bay leaves can be used in braises, stews, and soups.

Hoisin sauce is often used as a glaze for roasted meats or in stir-fries.

For a unique and flavorful dish, try combining both hoisin sauce and bay leaves the next time you cook.

Tip: To get the most flavor from bay leaves, dry them before using. You can dry bay leaves by placing them on a baking sheet in a low oven (200 degrees F) for about 10 minutes.

What Spices Go Well with Hoisin Sauce

What Spices Go with Hoisin Sauce? (10 Best Spices)

If you're looking to add some flavor to your meals, hoisin sauce is a great place to start.
It's a versatile condiment with a sweet and spicy flavor that can be used in everything from stir-fries to sauces for meats.
But what's even better? It pairs well with these 10 spices!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Course Herbs, Sauce, Spices
Cuisine American, Asian
Servings 4 people
Calories 33 kcal


  • Ginger
  • Star Anise
  • Green Onions
  • Spring Onions
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Honey
  • Cilantro
  • Chili
  • Allspice
  • Bay Leaves


  • Pick your favorite spice from this post to use in your sauce.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious dinner.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword What Herbs Go with Hoisin Sauce, What Spices Go with Hoisin Sauce