When it comes to Chinese cooking, soy sauce and oyster sauce are two of the most used sauces. However, there are other sauces that taste great, but are less common, for example: Hoisin sauce. Hoisin sauce is usually used as a dipping sauce, for example: Peking duck. Hoisin sauce, or in Chinese, 海鲜酱, literally means seafood sauce, but ironically, there is no seafood in the sauce. Hoisin sauce is made of sweet potatoes, soy beans and other flavorings.
The savory, sweet, and umami tasting sauce is actually great for stir-fries, as in this simple Hoisin Chicken that I made a few days ago. Chinese stir-fries are mostly cooked with soy sauce and oyster sauce, so using Hoisin sauce brings a new dimension in taste. I like the slight sweetness that comes with the sauce, and it makes this Hoisin Chicken very appetizing, and especially great with steamed white rice.
For the vegetables, I used the leftover broccoli in my fridge, but leafy greens such as baby bok choy will be a great substitute. I also dressed it up with a few oyster mushrooms. If you don’t have oyster mushrooms, fresh mushrooms such as shiitake or button mushrooms will be great, too.
Anyway, this Hoisin chicken recipe reminded me of my trip to a Chinese village outside of Beijing a few years ago. I had a very humble home-cooked meal in the village. The villagers cook and eat whatever they raise or have in their farm. That day, we had a simple chicken with leafy green and mushrooms, seasoned with the leftover Hoisin Sauce from the Peking duck that they packed from Beijing. The organic chicken raised in the village was lean and juicy. The fresh greens and the wild mushrooms were absolutely delectable, and the Hoisin sauce pretty much made the dish complete. The best foods are the ones prepared with the simplest and freshest of ingredients. Enjoy!
(Click Page 2 for the Hoisin Chicken Recipe)