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Chinese Chicken Hoisin Sauce Recipe: A Guide for a New Dish to Your Meal Plan

If you're looking to add some variety to your weekly meal plan, why not try making a Chinese chicken hoisin sauce recipe? This savoury-sweet sauce is a staple in Chinese cuisine and pairs perfectly with tender chicken pieces. Once you learn how to make this dish, you'll have a quick and easy recipe to whip up on busy weeknights.

A wok sizzles as chicken, garlic, and ginger are stir-fried. Hoisin sauce is added, creating a glossy glaze over the tender meat. Green onions and sesame seeds are sprinkled on top

To make hoisin chicken, you'll need to start by understanding hoisin sauce. This sauce is made from fermented soybeans, spices, dried sweet potatoes, salt, sugar, and other ingredients. Despite its name, hoisin sauce does not contain seafood, but it is often used as a dipping sauce for seafood dishes. The complex flavour of hoisin sauce makes it a popular ingredient in many Chinese recipes.

Once you have a good understanding of hoisin sauce, it's time to prepare the chicken. You can use boneless chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe. To add some extra flavour, you can marinate the chicken in soy sauce and Chinese Shaoxing wine before cooking. Once the chicken is cooked, simply stir in the hoisin sauce and serve with your favourite side dish.

Key Takeaways

  • Hoisin sauce is a savoury-sweet sauce made from fermented soybeans, spices, dried sweet potatoes, salt, sugar, and other ingredients.
  • To make hoisin chicken, you can marinate boneless chicken breasts or thighs in soy sauce and Chinese Shaoxing wine before cooking.
  • Serve hoisin chicken with your favourite side dish and consider adding seafood to the recipe for extra flavour.

Understanding Hoisin Sauce

A chef pours hoisin sauce over sizzling Chinese chicken in a wok

Origins and Culinary Uses

Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark, and sweet sauce that is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It originated in southern China and is sometimes referred to as "Chinese barbecue sauce". The sauce is made from fermented soybeans, vinegar, sugar, garlic, sesame seeds, and chilli peppers. It has a sweet and umami flavour and is often used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, dumplings, and other appetizers.

Hoisin sauce is also used as a glaze for meats, such as chicken, pork, and beef. It can be used as a marinade or brushed onto the meat while cooking. The sauce adds a rich, Asian flavour to the dish and is perfect for those who enjoy a sweet and savoury taste.

Key Ingredients

The key ingredients in hoisin sauce are fermented soybeans, vinegar, sugar, garlic, sesame seeds, and chilli peppers. Fermented soybeans give the sauce its distinct umami flavour, while vinegar adds a tangy taste. Sugar is used to balance the flavours and adds sweetness to the sauce. Garlic and chilli peppers provide a savoury and spicy flavour, while sesame seeds add a nutty taste.

When making hoisin sauce, it is important to use quality ingredients to achieve the best flavour. You can find hoisin sauce in most Asian grocery stores or make it at home using a few simple ingredients.

If you are a seafood lover, you can also use seafood in your hoisin chicken recipe. You can add shrimp or scallops to the dish, which will complement the sweet and savoury flavour of the hoisin sauce. Alternatively, you can replace the chicken with seafood and make a delicious hoisin shrimp or hoisin scallop dish.

Preparing the Chicken

A wok sizzles as chicken is stir-fried in hoisin sauce, garlic, and ginger. Spring onions and sesame seeds are sprinkled over the dish

When it comes to preparing Chinese chicken hoisin sauce, choosing the right cut of chicken is important. Chicken breasts and thighs are the most commonly used cuts for this recipe. Chicken breasts are leaner and have fewer calories than chicken thighs. However, chicken thighs are juicier and more flavourful than chicken breasts. You can use either cut of chicken depending on your preference.

Choosing the Right Cut

To prepare the chicken, start by washing it thoroughly and patting it dry with a paper towel. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. If you are using chicken breasts, you can cut them into strips or cubes. If you are using chicken thighs, you can leave them whole or cut them into smaller pieces.

Marinating for Flavour

Marinating the chicken is an essential step in this recipe. It helps to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavour. In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken to the marinade and mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours for maximum flavour.

Cooking Techniques

When cooking the chicken, you can use a variety of techniques such as stir-frying, baking, or grilling. Stir-frying is the most common technique used for this recipe. Heat oil in a wok or pan over high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it is golden brown and cooked through. If you prefer to bake the chicken, preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Place the chicken on the tray and bake for 30-35 minutes or until it is cooked through.

If you are looking to switch things up, you can also use seafood in this recipe. Shrimp or prawns are a great option. Simply substitute the chicken for shrimp or prawns and follow the same steps. For a more flavourful dish, you can also add some vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, or bell peppers to the mix.

Crafting the Hoisin Chicken Recipe

A chef mixes hoisin sauce with marinated chicken, then grills it to perfection. The chicken is glossy and caramelized, emitting a mouth-watering aroma

Sauce Preparation

To start your Hoisin Chicken recipe, you'll need to prepare the sauce. In a bowl, mix together hoisin sauce, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch. Make sure to mix well to ensure that the cornstarch is fully dissolved and there are no lumps in the sauce.

Stir Fry Assembly

Next, heat up some oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in chopped onions and stir-fry for a minute or two until they start to soften. Then, add in the chicken and stir-fry until it is cooked through.

Once the chicken is cooked, add in your vegetables of choice such as green onions, bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots. Stir-fry for a few more minutes until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Now it's time to add in the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, stirring to ensure that everything is evenly coated. Continue to stir-fry for another minute or two until the sauce has thickened and everything is fully combined.

If you want to add seafood to your Hoisin Chicken recipe, we suggest using prawns or squid. Simply add them in with the vegetables and stir-fry until cooked through.

To make larger batches of this recipe, we recommend cooking in batches to ensure that everything cooks evenly and doesn't become overcrowded. This will also help to prevent the ingredients from steaming rather than stir-frying.

This Hoisin Chicken recipe is a delicious and easy stir-fry that is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. With a few simple ingredients and some basic stir-fry techniques, you can create a tasty and satisfying meal that the whole family will love.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

A table set with a plate of Chinese chicken in hoisin sauce, surrounded by bowls of rice, steamed vegetables, and chopsticks

Accompaniments

Chinese Hoisin Chicken is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of accompaniments. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Steamed Rice: The classic pairing for Chinese Hoisin Chicken is steamed white rice. However, you can also try brown rice or jasmine rice for a healthier option.

  • Noodles: If you want to switch things up, try pairing your Hoisin Chicken with noodles. Egg noodles or soba noodles make great options.

  • Lettuce Wraps: For a lighter option, serve your Hoisin Chicken in lettuce wraps. This is a great way to add some extra crunch and freshness to the dish.

  • Bok Choy: Stir-fried bok choy is a great side dish to serve with your Hoisin Chicken. The mild flavour of bok choy complements the rich and savoury flavours of the chicken.

Garnishing Tips

Garnishing your Chinese Hoisin Chicken can add some extra flavour and visual appeal to the dish. Here are a few tips:

  • Sesame Seeds: Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over your Hoisin Chicken for a nutty flavour and some added texture.

  • Spring Onions: Thinly sliced spring onions add a pop of colour and freshness to your dish. They also add a mild onion flavour.

  • Salad: Serve your Hoisin Chicken with a simple green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette. This is a great way to balance out the richness of the chicken.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try adding some seafood to your Hoisin Chicken. Shrimp or scallops make great additions to the dish. Simply sauté them in a separate pan and add them to the stir-fry towards the end of cooking. This will add some extra protein and flavour to the dish.

Storing and Reheating

A hand pours Chinese chicken hoisin sauce into a labeled container. Another hand places the container in the fridge. Later, the same hand reheats the sauce in a small pot on the stove

Congratulations on making your delicious Chinese Hoisin Chicken! Now, you may be wondering how to store and reheat your leftovers.

To keep your leftovers fresh, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, your leftover chicken can last up to four days. If you have a large amount of leftover chicken, consider freezing it for later use. To freeze, wrap the chicken in airtight packaging and store it in the freezer for up to three months.

When reheating your chicken, it is important to make sure that it is warmed through to an internal temperature of at least 75°C. You can reheat your chicken in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. If you choose to use the microwave, cover your chicken with a damp paper towel to prevent it from drying out. If you are reheating on the stovetop, add a splash of water or broth to the pan to keep your chicken moist.

If you are looking to switch things up, you can also try adding seafood to your Chinese Hoisin Chicken recipe. Shrimp or scallops work well in this dish, and can be added during the last few minutes of cooking. Just be sure to adjust your cooking time accordingly to ensure that your seafood is cooked through.

Frequently Asked Questions

A wok sizzling with chicken, garlic, ginger, and hoisin sauce. A stack of green onions and sesame seeds nearby

What's the secret to a perfect chicken stir-fry with hoisin sauce?

The secret to a perfect chicken stir-fry with hoisin sauce is to use high heat and cook the chicken quickly. This will ensure that the chicken stays moist and tender while the vegetables remain crisp. It's also important to cut the chicken into small, uniform pieces so that they cook evenly.

How do you make a sticky hoisin chicken that's truly authentic?

To make a sticky hoisin chicken that's truly authentic, you need to marinate the chicken in hoisin sauce for at least an hour before cooking. This will allow the chicken to absorb the flavour of the sauce and become tender. After cooking, you can brush the chicken with additional hoisin sauce to create a sticky glaze.

Can you share some tips for marinating chicken in hoisin sauce?

When marinating chicken in hoisin sauce, it's important to use a high-quality sauce that's not too sweet. You should also add some garlic, ginger, and soy sauce to the marinade for extra flavour. To ensure that the chicken absorbs the marinade evenly, you should massage it into the meat and refrigerate it for at least an hour.

What are the essential ingredients for a classic hoisin sauce chicken breast dish?

The essential ingredients for a classic hoisin sauce chicken breast dish are chicken breast, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. You can also add vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and broccoli for extra flavour and nutrition.

What's the best way to prepare hoisin chicken thighs for maximum flavour?

The best way to prepare hoisin chicken thighs for maximum flavour is to marinate them in hoisin sauce for at least an hour before cooking. You can then bake, grill, or stir-fry the chicken thighs to your liking. For extra flavour, you can also add some honey, rice vinegar, and chili flakes to the marinade.

How do you balance flavours in a hoisin chicken and rice recipe?

To balance flavours in a hoisin chicken and rice recipe, you should use a high-quality hoisin sauce that's not too sweet. You should also add some soy sauce, garlic, and ginger to the sauce for extra depth of flavour. To make the dish more nutritious, you can add some vegetables such as carrots, peas, and corn. If you want to make the dish more exotic, you can also add some seafood such as shrimp or scallops.