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Is Hoisin Sauce Keto?

On the keto diet and wondering whether you can safely consume hoisin sauce? Or does this thick, fragrant condiment contain too many carbohydrates that it is no longer feasible? Well, here is all you need to know.

So, is hoisin sauce keto? Most commercial brands and recipes of hoisin sauce are not keto-friendly. In fact, it is a sauce that typically contains over 10 grams of carbohydrate per serving, mainly in the form of sugar. However, keto-friendly hoisin sauce recipes can be followed that will enable you to safely consume this sauce.

Perhaps not what you were hoping to learn.

Shame, right.

But that being said, there is good news.

And that is there are some very innovative cooks out there who have worked tirelessly to create a keto-friendly version.

We will be sharing that shortly.

So keep reading.

Besides, it will allow this sauce to be back on the menu!

Is Hoisin Sauce High In Carbs?

Most recipes and brands of Hoisin sauce are high in carbs. The average hoisin sauce contains between 10-25g of carbohydrate, per serving (2 tablespoons).

High carb, right?

Well, if we look at the ingredient list, you can soon see why.

Let’s take the Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce brand, for instance.

Here is the ingredient list.

Sugar, water, fermented soybean paste (15%) (water, salt, soybean, wheat), garlic, dried sweet potato, salt, rice vinegar, corn starch, sesame paste, spices, salted chilli pepper.

I’ve highlighted the main sources of carbs there.

No surprise that this exact sauce provides 22g of carbs, per portion, or over 50 grams !

Nutritional Info perPortion (2 Tbsp)
-of which Sugars20g

Now, of course, I am using one brand as an example here.

Although, it is one of the most popular, and widely used brands.

But if you use the same approach, you’ll soon see that many popular brands, or even recipes, use similar ingredients.

And if you check nutrition labels you’ll soon see more of the same thing.

Is Hoisin Sauce High In Sugar?

Most recipes and brands of Hoisin sauce are high in sugar. In fact, sugar is often one of the primary ingredients. The average hoisin sauce contains between 10-20g of sugar, per serving (2 tablespoons).

In fact, hoisin sauce is designed to be somewhat sweet.

The sugar is added as a means to offset the savory and umami notes, making it an all-rounded sauce ideal for glazing or stir-fries.

Is Hoisin Sauce Keto Friendly?

Hoisin sauce is typically not keto-friendly – it is generally too high in carbohydrates that will prevent you from achieving, or remaining in, a state of ketosis.

By now you should see why this is the case.

Now it’s fair to say I’ve only touched upon pre-made brands and not homemade recipes or even restaurants thus far.

However, when it comes to eating at a restaurant, again this sauce will generally be off-limits.

Unless of course, you can ask the chef what ingredients they use for their sauce.

Even then, it’s a risk.

I wouldn’t do it personally.

Besides, when you are on the keto diet your carbohydrate allowance is not particularly generous.

Especially when you factor in all the other foods in your diet. They quickly add up, as you know.

Before you know it, you’re approaching the limit of ~20 grams of carbs.

Well at least, the average keto-dieters limit.

Now with some sauces, it’s fair to say you can have a small amount and remain in ketosis.

Even the higher-carb sauces.

But with hoisin, even this is generally not really that feasible.

Especially if it is drizzled over food already.

So instead, your only real option for consuming hoisin is by following a hoisin keto recipe.

That’s the recommended approach.

And to save you time, I’ve dropped my favorite one down below.

Keto-Friendly Hoisin Sauce Recipe

If you want to consume hoisin sauce on keto making your own from scratch is best. This will allow you to introduce sugar alternatives and lower the carbohydrate content considerably.

The following recipe is my favorite one to make.

Just consider that it makes around ½ cup of sauce, so you may need to adjust accordingly or double the ingredient count if you need more.


  • ¼ Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of Smooth Unsweetened Almond Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar Free Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil,
  • ½ Teaspoon of Garlic Paste
  • ¼ Cup of Water.


Step One: Add all of the ingredients, except the water, to a small saucepan. Simmer of low heat until the almond butter has dissolved and your sauce begins to glisten.

Step Two: Add in the water and whisk it in to thicken the sauce.

Step Three: Transfer to a bowl, cover it and let the sauce cool. Once at room temperature, you can place it in the fridge until required.


This hoisin sauce provides 2 grams of net carbohydrates per serving (2 tablespoons).


Hoisin sauce is generally not keto.

Especially store-bought options, or the kind that they serve in restaurants.

Typically you’ll find that sugar is a primary ingredient.

And then there are other ingredients that add to the carb count, too.

The result – a high-carb sauce that is not a good one for the keto diet!

But there is good news.

Hoisin sauce can be keto-friendly – with a little planning and preparation.

You’ll need to follow a particular recipe.

And it may not taste 100% like the authentic real thing.

But it is good.

So do give it a try.

See for yourself

Use it as a glaze for meat, or even as a dipping sauce for low-carb veggies or snacks.

Wondering what other sauces you can have while on keto? Check out my following guides to find out!