Definition: Hoisin sauce, also called Chinese barbecue sauce is a fragrant, pungent sauce used frequently in Asian stir-fries and marinades and Asian-style grilled dishes (pictured at right: grilled tofu with hoisin sauce and grilled broccoli tossed with hoisin sauce). Made from a combination of fermented soy, garlic, vinegar, and usually chili and sweetener, hoisin is dark in color and thick in consistency. It has a very strong salty and slightly sweet flavor, which, if you're not used to authentic Asian flavors, you may find slightly objectionable.
Because the flavor can be overpowering, particularly if you’re new to Asian cuisine, it’s recommended that you use only a bit at a time to experiment with the flavor. Or, dilute the flavor by adding water or oil to the hoisin sauce before using in a recipe.
Hoisin sauce is a great way to add an authentic Asian flavor and thickening color to a stir-fry or noodle dish, and it can also be used as a dipping sauce for egg rolls, spring rolls, or other vegetarian appetizers.
Got some extra Chinese hoisin sauce on hand? Here's a few ways to use it up:
Hoisin Sauce Recipes
- Smoky Asian Grilled Tofu (pictured)
- Chinese Style Stir Fry with Seitan
- Thai Style Stir Fry
- Vegetarian Sesame Hoisin "Chicken" Wings
- Vietnamese Salad Rolls
- Chinese Barbecue Sauce
Chinese Eight Treasures Recipe
Hoisin Dipping Sauce
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Also Known As: Chinese Barbecue Sauce