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Hoisin sauce - Something a little different, directly from Asia

In this article, we’re going to look at hoisin sauce. You’ll find out precisely what it is, what makes it so delicious, and what you should be using it with in the kitchen.

Where does hoisin sauce come from?

Hoisin sauce is an Asian speciality, originally coming from China. Today, however, it’s found all over the world, from Germany to Vietnam — and it’s loved wherever it’s used!

WWhat’s in hoisin sauce?

The primary ingredient in hoisin sauce today is soybean paste, although fermented sweet potatoes were originally used. Aside from this, rice vinegar provides the sourness, while dried chilli adds a bit of spice. Additionally, salt, garlic and sugar is added to the recipe. In many versions, you may also find dried sweet potatoes. These provide a little bit of sweetness, while working as an essential binding agent to keep everything together. The main ingredients in a nutshell are:

  • Soybean/sweet potato paste
  • Rice vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Chilli
  • Sugar
  • Salt

How does it taste?

Simply pit, hoisin sauce is delicious! Being made from soybeans, vinegar, sugar and chilli, it’s sweet and sour heaven. The garlic serves to round out the flavour while not being too overpowering, whereas the chillis add a soft kick of spice at the end.

Which dishes go well with hoisin sauce?

In Europe, one of the most commonly served dishes using hoisin sauce is Peking duck. A favourite all over the world, it’s not complete without a hefty dollop of hoisin. In Asia, however, hoisin sauce is used much more commonly. There, dishes that are fried or prepared in a wok are often rounded off with a helping of hoisin. Pak Choi, for example — a staple of Chinese and South East Asian cooking — is almost always served with hoisin sauce. Finally, hoisin sauce is also used as a dip of sorts, especially when eating dumplings or dim sum. When you’re looking to use it, one of the best ways to incorporate it into the kitchen is to use it as a marinade for frying or barbecuing. This goes especially well with spare ribs, prawns and fish dishes. Here’s a quick overview of what hoisin goes well with:. 

  • Peking duck
  • Numerous fried and wok dishes
  • Alongside pak choi
  • As a marinade on any meat
  • Prawns and fish
  • Chop Suey
  • Char Siu(roasted pork)

Make your own hoisin marinade

Throwing a barbecue and want to impress? Well, consider preparing your very own hoisin marinade! Doing so is quick and easy and requires surprisingly few ingredients. The first thing that you’re going to need is — of course — a generous helping of hoisin sauce. From here, you can mix and match depending on what you’re cooking. Want something extra sweet? Add some honey and a little water and maybe even some sake or sherry. If you’d prefer to keep it savoury, add some light soy sauce and a little sugar for consistency, then just top it up with water. To round out the taste, feel free to add a pinch of Chinese five spice, a herbal blend of cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, aniseed, fennel and cloves. Alternatively, if you’re marinating poultry, a dash of ginger, garlic and a dash of dark soy sauce works very well. Here’s what you need once more:

  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Soy sauce (light or dark)
  • Zucker/Honig
  • Water
  • Sake or sherry
  • Chinese five spice

epperworld’s last word on hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce is a condiment that originally comes from China. Today, however, it’s enjoyed all over the world. It’s made primarily out of soybean paste, rice vinegar and chilli, although you can mix and match ingredients depending on your taste. As many sauces from China tend to be, the sweet is a heavenly blend of sweetness and spice, meaning it goes well with a huge array of dishes. You can also use it as the basis of various marinades and it’s becoming ever popular as an alternative to barbecue sauce.