|Literal meaning||seafood sauce|
|Vietnamese alphabet||tương đen|
|Literal meaning||black sauce|
Hoisin sauce is a thick, fragrant sauce commonly used in Cantonese cuisine as a glaze for meat, an addition to stir fry, or as dipping sauce. It is dark-coloured in appearance and sweet and salty in taste. Although regional variants exist, hoisin sauce usually includes soybeans, fennel, red chili peppers, and garlic. Vinegar, five-spice powder, and sugar are also commonly added.
The word hoisin is derived from the Chinese words for "seafood" (simplified Chinese: 海鲜; traditional Chinese: 海鮮; Cantonese Yale: hói sīn; pinyin: hǎixiān), although the sauce does not contain any seafood ingredients and is not commonly consumed with seafood. The reason for the name is "seafood flavour", a common adjective in Chinese cuisine, especially Sichuanese ("fish fragrant").
The key ingredient of hoisin sauce is fermented soybean paste.
Some hoisin sauce ingredients include starches such as sweet potato, wheat and rice, and water, sugar, soybeans, sesame seeds, white distilled vinegar, salt, garlic, red chili peppers, and sometimes preservatives or coloring agents. Traditionally, hoisin sauce is made using toasted mashed soybeans.
Hoisin sauce is used in Cantonese cuisine as a marinade sauce for meat or as a dipping sauce.
Hoisin sauce can be used as a marinade sauce for meat such as char siu.
Hoisin sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for steamed or panfried rice noodle roll (chángfěn 肠粉).
Hoisin sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for Peking duck and lettuce wraps.
Hoisin sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for moo shu pork.
In Vietnamese, hoisin sauce is called tương đen. It is a popular condiment for phở, a Vietnamese noodle soup, in southern Vietnam. The sauce can be directly added into a bowl of phở at the table, or it can be used as a dip for the meat of phở dishes. In phở, hoisin is typically accompanied by Sriracha sauce or tương đỏ. The hoisin sauce is also used to make a dipping sauce for Vietnamese gỏi cuốn (often translated as 'spring roll') and other similar dishes. In cooking, it can be used for glazing broiled chicken.