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.
Asparagus and Chickpea Stir-Fry with Hoisin Sauce
1.5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas, or a 19 oz can, drained and rinsed well
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (peeled)
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 bunch of spinach (300g), coarsely chopped (or your favourite green)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime)
zest from 1 lime
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
1. Have all your ingredients prepped and within arms reach of the stove. Heat olive oil in a large pan, or well-seasoned wok over medium high heat. Once hot, add the chickpeas, shaking occasionally, and cook until golden, 5-7 minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the pan and set aside.
2. Once cleared, add the onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, asparagus, and salt to taste. Stir fry for about a minute, then add the garlic, almonds, and spinach and stir-fry for another minute, or until the spinach wilts. Return the chickpeas to the pan. Stir in the lime zest and juice and the hoisin sauce. Cook for another 10-20 seconds, stirring all the while.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Taste and add a bit more salt if needed.