Learn About Hoisin Sauce

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Hoisin Sauce?

Hoisin sauce is a sauce and condiment originating from China.  Hoisin sauce is dark and thick, similar to barbecue sauce.  Most versions of hoisin sauce use soybean paste, garlic, fennel, red chiles, sugar, and vinegar.  Some versions include five-spice, sesame paste, peanut butter, or other spices.  It has a strong smell.

What Does Hoisin Sauce Taste Like?

Hoisin sauce tastes salty and tangy.  It has a similar flavor profile to barbecue sauce, but with distinctly different flavors.  It may taste slightly meaty or sweet.

Learn About Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce served alongside classic Peking duck.

How Do You Eat Hoisin Sauce?

Enjoy hoisin sauce in a variety of ways.  Hoisin sauce has similar uses to barbecue sauce.  Traditional uses for hoisin sauce include as a marinade for meat, dipping sauces, or sticky stir-fry sauce.  Prepare Peking duck with hoisin sauce.  Many people use hoisin sauce as a glaze for chicken, fish, beef, pork, or vegetables.

Where Can You Buy Hoisin Sauce?

Look for hoisin sauce in the international food aisle of well-stocked grocery stores.  If you have trouble finding it, look for hoisin sauce in international grocery stores, Asian food stores, or Chinese food stores.  If you still can’t find it, you can try to make something similar at home.

How Do You Store Hoisin Sauce?

Store unopened hoisin sauce in a cool, dry place.  Once opened, seal the container and store it in the refrigerator.

Fun Facts About Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce has similar popularity to ketchup or barbecue sauce.  It typically completes many Asian dishes and rounds out flavors.

Did You Know?

The true origins of hoisin sauce are unknown.  Researchers believe hoisin sauce may have originated from southern China.  The word “hoisin” means seafood, which leads researchers to believe that hoisin sauce used to contain some form of seafood.

Recipes Using Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin Dipping Sauce

Create a delicious dipping sauce for a variety of foods. Mix hoisin sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger, and lemon juice together in a bowl. Serve with fresh spring rolls or chicken.

Hoisin Marinade

Jazz up different meats with hoisin sauce. Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, orange juice, orange zest, garlic, and ginger in a large bowl. Use this marinade for chicken, pork, or beef.

Easy Sticky Glaze

Make a quick sticky glaze perfect for salmon or other fish. In a bowl, mix together honey, hoisin sauce, orange juice, salt, peppercorns, ground cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, and ground cloves. Brush glaze over fish before baking and baste the fish at least once while cooking.

Hoisin Rice

Make a tangy and delicious rice side dish using hoisin sauce. Prepare long grain white rice with vegetable broth, ground pork, peas, red bell pepper, garlic, and onions. Once the rice finishes cooking, stir in hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, and honey.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce

If you can’t find hoisin sauce at your local grocery store, make your own at home. In a bowl, combine soybean paste, minced garlic, fennel, red chiles, sugar, and vinegar. For extra flavor, add five-spice. Cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.


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