Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hoisin "海鮮", is not seafood?

Hoisin sauce is a popular Chinese dipping sauce in most places, but it is not commonly used amongst Singaporeans. Our favourite dipping sauces range from "die die must have cut chillies in soya sauce" to vinegared chillies, chopped garlic and grated ginger instead. Besides, many Singaporeans will be puzzled by the word Hoisin "海鮮", which is a romanization of the Cantonese word for seafood and despite the literal meaning of "seafood", it does not contain anything from the sea.
Hoisin sauce is sometime called Chinese barbeque sauce is a fragrant, pungent sauce used frequently in stir-fries and marinades. It is made from a combination of fermented soy, garlic, vinegar, and usually chilies and sweetener, hoisin is dark in color and thick in consistency. It has a very strong salty and slightly sweet flavor and has a distinct taste, which some may find objectionable. It is common for people to either love the taste of hoisin sauce or hate it. My family and I have come to acquire a taste for it and frequently used as a substitute for " tee cheo"(sweet sauce) as a dressing for "chee cheong fun" (steamed rice rolled noodle). Here is a great homemade marinade for beef or chicken we have concocted in our kitchen with Hoisin suace.


1/2 cup cooking sherry
1 cup Hoisin sauce
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tsp Sesame oil
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator.

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