Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hoisin sauce, & some things you can make with it

These are the tofu snacks..

They were pretty good.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the amazing, wonderful, fabulous lamb chops, but the recipe is here if you want to try them.

Hoisin Sauce
½ cup dried adzuki beans, rinsed
2tbsp toasted sesame oil
1tbsp minced garlic
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ tsp Asian chile garlic sauce, or ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Place beans in a medium sized saucepan and add 5 cups of water. Bring the water to boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Let the beans simmer gently, uncovered, until they are very soft, 1.5 to 2 hours. Drain the beans in a colander and let them cool. Puree the beans in a food processor until smooth.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, but not smoking, add the garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring occasionally, until it is soft but not browned, 2-3 min.
Add the bean puree and the brown sugar, cider vinegar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and 2 tbsp of water to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 10 – 15 minutes.
Add the chili garlic sauce to the hoisin sauce and sir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding more chili sauce as needed. Let the hoisin sauce cool to room temperature. It can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 10 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator over night.

I was always under the impression that Hoisin sauce had plums in it, and this recipe has none to be found, but I really wanted to try the Hoisin tofu snacks, and I happened to have some adzuki beans lying around, so I gave this a go.

It’s from Food To Live By, which is one of my all time favorite cookbooks. The two recipes that follow are from the same book.

This was easy to make, and it made enough to make two batches of tofu snacks, and a lamb chop dinner, so it’s worth making.

Hoisin Tofu Snacks
14 to 16 oz extra firm tofu
½ cup home made hoisin sauce
2tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1tbsp hulled sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350f/180c
Cut the tofu into rectangles, approx 1 inch wide by 2 inches long by 1/3 inch. Arrange the pieces in a baking pan just large enough to hold them in a single layer. To make sure the tofu get crispy all over, the slices should be slightly separated.
Combine the hoisin Sauce, tamari, and sesame seeds, if using, in a small bowl and pour this mixture over the tofu. Turn the tofu so that both sides are evenly coated.
Bake for 30 min. Remove the pan from the oven and use a spatula and a large spoon to flip the tofu pieces. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes longer. Then turn the tofu over again, and bake until deep golden brown, 10 min more. Remove from the oven and allow the tofu to cool for at least 5 min. The longer it sits out the firmer the tofu will become. Serve warm. The tofu snacks will keep, covered in the refrigerator for up to three days (although they will lose their crispness).

These were incredibly easy to make. I pressed the tofu first so that it would have a better texture. It’s easy, just wrap it in a clean towel, and pile an absurd amount of books on it, then wait. I thought they were fun, my husband loved them. I made a second batch by request.

Just to let you know, About halfway through they start to smell a little like they are burning. They’re not, they just smell that way. It happened both times, and both times they came out fine.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Mongolian Sauce
2tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
2tbsp minced garlic
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup ginger vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
2tbsp firmly packed, light brown sugar
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce
1tbsp Asian Chili Garlic sauce
8 loin or rib lamb chops

To make the marinade, place the ginger, garlic, shallots, vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, tamari, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, and chili sauce in a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.
Place the lamb chops in a large re-sealable plastic bag and add the marinade. Let the chops marinate in the fridge for at least 8 or up to 48 hours, turning the bag occasionally to distribute the marinade evenly.
Set up the barbecue grill and preheat it to medium.
Remove the chops from the marinade and transfer them to a platter. Strain the marinade through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Discard the solids. Bring the marinade to a boil over high heat and cook until it thickens to a sauce, 3-5 min.
Place the lamb chops on the hot grill and cook them for about 2 min on each side. Baste the chops with some of the boiled marinade. Cover the grill and cook the chops , turning once, until cooked to taste, about 6 min longer for medium rare. To test for doneness, insert an instant read thermometer through the side into the center of a chop without touching the bone. It will register 145f when the chop is done to medium rare.
Let the chops rest for 5 min, then serve them with the boiled marinade on the side.

These are amazing. I don’t make lamb chops very often, but I might start now. My advice to you is to make the hoisin sauce, portion it out and freeze it so that you can make these whenever you want to. Because once you make them once, you will want to make them again.

I used the grill in my oven because we don’t have a barbeque. It worked fine, though I had to cook them for 2 minutes longer then the recipe instructed. I think that the cooking time might vary slightly from one grill to another.

Try this recipe for yourself and find out.


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