Guangwei Yuan Hoisin Sauce
There's a reason hoisin sauce is one of the best-known Cantonese sauces, and that's because it's a condiment as well as a cooking sauce and is designed to taste great right out of the jar. It takes a fermented soybean sauce and adds sugar, garlic, sesame and spices, resulting in a sweet and tangy taste that is instantly recognizable from Cantonese BBQ, pork-belly bao and dipping sauces.
Our sauce is made in hoisin's home province of Guangdong and is new to America, as we were looking for a more interesting alternative to the grocery store brands. With the help of Guangdong residents and Mala Market affiliate Chinese Cooking Demystified, we picked out the Guangwei Yuan brand not only for its more lively taste but for its appealing reddish-brown color. The company includes both tomato and red yeast rice in its recipe, which means you can make char siu (Cantonese BBQ pork) with the traditional reddish hue without having to source red yeast rice or red food coloring yourself.
We like to take The Woks of Life's super popular char siu recipe and use extra Guangwei Yuan hoisin as well as Zhongba light and dark soy sauces instead of the molasses and red food coloring, since these soy sauces also impart a reddish color. No food coloring needed. It won't be the bright red of take-out, but it will be an appealing reddish-brown and umami-rich sticky coating with that beloved Chinese restaurant taste. (See second photo.)
Other fab uses are a smear of garlicy sweet hoisin in pork-belly bao or in American-Chinese dishes like moo shu pork pancake wraps or lettuce wraps full of roasted meats or veg.
Don't let the name fool you, because although hoisin translates to seafood, hoisin sauce never has seafood in it. However, please note that the label on the jar fails to list the wheat starter included in the fermented soybeans. This sauce is not gluten-free.
Source: Guangzhou Guangwei Yuan Food Co., Guangdong
Size: 255 grams (9.0 ounces)
Ingredients: sugar, potato starch, water, fermented soybeans (soybean, water, salt, wheat), chili, glucose, tomato, fermented bean curd, vinegar, garlic, sesame, salt, spices, acetylated distarch phosphate (thickener and source of fiber), xanthan gum (thickener), citric acid, red yeast rice, potassium sorbate (preservative), sucralose
Allergens: soybean, wheat, sesame
Best by: July 2023