While I have upgraded from a condo-sized fridge, the new full-sized fridge seems so full already as it is nearly packed with condiments! Three tahinis… three bottles of toasted sesame oil… three bottles for soy sauce (which I promptly removed from the fridge)… and Rob, alone, had all things tamarind and mango: 2 containers of tamarind concentrate, tamarind chutney, mango ginger chutney, mango chili sauce, pickled mango in oil. I am no saint, either, bringing the isoteric umeboshi plum paste, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and some peach-mango salsa, amongst many, many others! Actually, I love isoteric ingredients… the duplicates bother me. For some reason the soy sauce bottles are NOT built to add liquid in the other way.
I have wanted to make my own hoisin sauce, ever since Rose posted her recipe and I spotted an even more compelling version in The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East. However, until I finish the bottle in the cupboard, I will be using the jarred variety.
I am a late bloomer for discovering the quick and easy nature of stir fries, where anything goes, but decided to try to use some of the condiments in the fridge in a stir fry. First one: hoisin sauce, the salty-sweet Chinese barbecue sauce.
Adapted from 101cookbooks, this is a quick stir fry filled with spring vegetables including asparagus, spinach and green onions. The hoisin flavour is augmented by garlic, ginger, chili flakes and a lightness is brought by fresh lime juice and basil. Instead of tofu, I opted to bring back roasted chickpeas to my kitchen, lovely with their nutty flavour. I substituted almonds for the cashews and omitted the mint altogether. But anything goes with stir fries, so throw together your favourite combination of ingredients. Just make sure your mise-en-place is ready to go before you heat your skillet – this will be fast!
For other hoisin sauce love, try my Tofu Hoisin with Baby Bok Choy.
Hoisin sauce is new to me. It is a Chinese salty-sweet marinade, akin to barbecue sauce, made with soy, garlic and vinegar. I initially bought it after I had some delectable hoisin chicken lettuce wraps in a restaurant that I wanted to recreate at home. However, meat doesn’t make many appearances in my household, so tofu it was!
This recipe features firm tofu baked with a wonderfully sweet and tangy hoisin sauce with a side of baby bok choy topped with sesame oil. The tofu was delicious, although the sauce was absorbed when I ate it as leftovers (still good but not as saucy!). The bok choy was a bit bland, so I think next time, I will try a side dish incorporating more vegetables like red peppers and mushrooms, similar to this dish posted at Canadian Living. The following recipe is from The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook, also posted here on the Mayo Clinic website.