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    Hunan Sauce

    This spicy Hunan Sauce is just what you need to breathe new life into your stir fry meals! It’s the perfectly balanced blend of savory, umami, sweet and fiery.

    Along with Bulgogi Sauce and General Tso Sauce, it’s one of our go-to Asian sauces.

    Bowl of Hunan sauce.

    Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

    • Soy Sauce – This is a key ingredient for the umami flavor. If you need a gluten-free option, tamari is a great substitute. For a lower sodium version, use light soy sauce.
    • Shaoxing Wine – This traditional Chinese cooking wine adds depth and complexity. If you don’t have it, dry sherry is a good alternative.
    • Rice Vinegar – It brings a mild acidity to the sauce. If you don’t have rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar can work as substitutes, though they are a bit stronger in flavor.
    • Dark Soy Sauce – Darker and slightly sweeter than regular soy sauce, it also adds color to the dish. If unavailable, you can use a bit more regular soy sauce with a teaspoon of molasses or brown sugar to mimic its richness and color.
    • Chili Oil – This is a chili pepper infused oil. You can generally find it in the international section of many supermarkets, or follow our easy Chili Oil Recipe.
    • White Sugar – It balances the flavors. If you prefer, honey or brown sugar can be used as alternatives, offering a slightly different sweetness profile.
    • Corn Starch – This helps to thicken the sauce. Arrowroot powder is a good alternative if you’re looking for a corn-free option.

    Remember, each substitution might slightly alter the taste from the original recipe, but experimenting with these variations can lead to delightful new flavor combinations! Enjoy creating a Hunan sauce that’s uniquely yours.

    How to Make Hunan Sauce

    Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

    Now you’re all ready to make some stir fry!

    Wok full of Hunan beef!

    How to Use this Spicy Sauce

    Use it in any of your favorite Stir Fry Recipes or Asian Noodle Recipes. Simply swap the regular sauce for Hunan sauce.

    We have great recipes for Hunan Shrimp and Hunan Beef, be sure to check them out.

    You can also use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, dumplings or sushi. How about Hunan chicken wings? Sounds like a hit!

    Two bowls of Hunan shrimp.

    What’s the Difference Between Hunan Sauce and Szechuan Sauce?

    Hunan sauce and Szechuan sauce, both originating from distinct regions in China, offer unique flavor experiences in Chinese cuisine. Both are known for their spiciness.

    Hunan sauce, coming from Hunan Province, is recognized for its bold and straightforward spiciness. This sauce primarily utilizes chili peppers, contributing to its sharper, more pronounced heat.

    In contrast, Szechuan sauce, from Sichuan Province, is known for its complex and multi-layered flavor profile. It combines the spiciness of chili with the unique numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorns, a signature element of Sichuan cuisine.

    While both give a good kick, Hunan is generally the spicier of the two.

    Bowl of Hunan beef.

    Give your stir fry a spicy upgrade with this hot and fiery Hunan sauce. It never hurts to give your taste buds a little tingle!

    Pin or bookmark this easy recipe so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you.

    While you’re here, be sure to check out our collection of favorite Chinese Recipes to keep those great flavors going!

    More Can’t-Miss Sauce Recipes:
    Teriyaki Sauce
    Aji Verde
    Chipotle Mayo
    Jamaican Jerk Sauce
    Buffalo Sauce
    Dumpling Sauce
    Peri Peri Sauce

    Featured image for Hunan sauce recipe.

    Hunan Sauce Recipe

    Yield: 4 servings
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Total Time: 5 minutes

    This spicy Hunan Sauce is the perfect way to upgrade all of your favorite stir fry dishes with a bit of kick.


    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
    • 2 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp chili oil
    • 1 Tbsp white sugar
    • ½ tsp corn starch


    1. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.
    2. Use as a stir fry sauce for any of your favorite proteins.


    1. This recipe is enough to stir fry about 1.5 pounds of protein along with vegetables.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 51Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 512mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 0gSugar 3gProtein 1g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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