You need a few more perfect sauces in your repertoire and you know it. No matter what you’re making, there’s a sauce out there just waiting to make it better, enhance its natural appeal and make you look like a rock star of a chef. Pick up a copy of The Art of the Perfect Sauce and make this hoisin habañero sauce tonight.
Hoisin is a popular Chinese condiment that can be used on anything from Peking duck to dumplings. Hoisin is thick, sweet and aromatic thanks to five-spice powder, which combines star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon, fennel and cloves. In this stock, we offer a spicy counterpoint to the sweetness of hoisin by combining it with habanero chili pepper brightened up with ginger and rice wine vinegar. The boldness of this sauce makes it good for enlivening barbecued chicken or even used as the flavoring in a chicken and vegetable stir-fry. You can find hoisin sauce in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores.
- 2 teaspoons safflower oil
- 2 scallions, end trimmed and white parts sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon peeled, grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole habañero pepper, pierced
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce (available in Asian markets)
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
For the sauce
Heat the safflower oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the scallions, ginger and garlic. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until the garlic begins to lightly brown.
Add the habañero and sauté for 1 minute. Add the rice wine vinegar and cook for about 30 seconds or until the vinegar is reduced by half.
Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock, hoisin sauce and ketchup. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the mixture is reduced by half. Strain out the habañero pepper. Stir in the salt and adjust, as needed, to taste. Serve with barbecue chicken, dumplings or seared duck breast.