If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, you’ve probably come across both Chu Hou Paste and Hoisin Sauce.
While they may look similar and share some common ingredients, there are distinct differences between the two.
In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between Chu Hou Paste and Hoisin Sauce, and help you understand how to use them in your cooking.
So, let’s dive in and discover the world of these delicious sauces!
Is Chu Hou Paste Similar To Hoisin Sauce?
Chu Hou Paste and Hoisin Sauce are both popular condiments in Asian cuisine, but they are not exactly the same.
Chu Hou Paste, also known as Chee Hou Sauce, is a fermented soybean sauce that has a unique mix of seasonings. It contains ingredients like salted plums, salted lemons, and fermented bean curd, which give it a distinct flavor profile. On the other hand, Hoisin Sauce is a thick and dark sauce that has a sweet and salty taste.
While both sauces are used as dipping sauces or marinades for meats and vegetables, Chu Hou Paste is more commonly used in braising dishes. It is made from soybeans, garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds, and is specially designed for braising meats and vegetables. Hoisin Sauce, on the other hand, is more versatile and can be used in stir-fries, as a glaze for roasted meats, or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls.
What Is Chu Hou Paste?
Chu Hou Paste is a condiment that is commonly used in Cantonese cuisine. It is made from premium quality soybeans, garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds, and has a unique mix of seasonings that give it a distinct flavor profile. This fermented soybean sauce is similar to Hoisin Sauce but with a different mix of ingredients. Chu Hou Paste is smoother in texture and has a stronger soy sauce flavor, making it a good sauce to add when braising or steaming meats.
Chu Hou Paste is specially designed for braising meats and vegetables, making it a popular ingredient in dishes like Stewed Beef Brisket in Chu Hou Sauce. The paste is also used in stir-fry dishes and can be found in many Asian stores because of its common use in Chinese cooking. Lee Kum Kee, a company that produces over 200 Chinese-style sauces, also produces Chu Hou Paste.
Invented during the Qing Dynasty in Foshan, Guangdong by a chef named Leung Chu Hou, this paste has become an important ingredient in Cantonese cuisine. It was originally used to create delicious meat dishes at his restaurant, which eventually became very busy. After his death, people started calling his sauce Chu Hou sauce so that his name could live on forever.
What Is Hoisin Sauce?
Hoisin Sauce is a thick and dark sauce that is commonly used in Asian cuisine. It has a sweet and salty taste and is made from a mixture of soybeans, sugar, vinegar, garlic, and chili peppers. It is often used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or as a marinade for meats and vegetables.
One of the key ingredients in many traditional Hoisin Sauce recipes is black bean paste, which gives it its distinct flavor. However, Hoisin Sauce can also be made with other ingredients like soy sauce, brown sugar, and Chinese Five Spice powder to add additional depth and complexity to the flavor profile.
While Chu Hou Paste and Hoisin Sauce have some similarities in terms of their use as condiments in Asian cuisine, they have different flavor profiles and are best suited for different dishes. Whether you prefer the unique mix of seasonings in Chu Hou Paste or the sweet and salty taste of Hoisin Sauce, both sauces are delicious additions to any meal.
Common Ingredients In Chu Hou Paste And Hoisin Sauce
Despite their differences, Chu Hou Paste and Hoisin Sauce have some common ingredients. Both sauces contain soybeans, garlic, and ginger. These ingredients give both sauces a savory and aromatic flavor. Additionally, sesame seeds are also found in both sauces, which adds a nutty taste to the condiments.
However, Hoisin Sauce has additional ingredients that are not found in Chu Hou Paste. For example, Hoisin Sauce contains starches like sweet potato, wheat, and rice, which give it a thicker consistency. It also has sugar, white distilled vinegar, salt, and red chili peppers in its ingredients list. These ingredients give Hoisin Sauce its sweet and spicy taste.
In contrast, Chu Hou Paste has a more complex mix of seasonings that includes salted plums, salted lemons, and yeast extract. These ingredients give it a unique umami flavor that is different from Hoisin Sauce.
Differences In Flavor And Texture
In terms of flavor and texture, Chu Hou Paste and Hoisin Sauce are quite different. Chu Hou Paste has a sweeter taste than Hoisin Sauce, which is more savory. This is because Chu Hou Paste contains salted plums, salted lemons, and fermented bean curd, which add a unique sweetness to the sauce. In contrast, Hoisin Sauce has a more robust flavor due to the addition of vinegar and spices like five-spice powder.
In terms of texture, Chu Hou Paste is thinner and smoother than Hoisin Sauce. This makes it easier to use as a marinade or for braising meats and vegetables. Hoisin Sauce, on the other hand, is thicker and stickier, which makes it perfect for glazing meats or as a dipping sauce.
Another key difference between the two sauces is their usage in Chinese cuisine. Chu Hou Paste is primarily used in Cantonese-style braised dishes, while Hoisin Sauce is used in a variety of dishes from different regions of China.
How To Use Chu Hou Paste In Cooking
Chu Hou Paste is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some tips on how to use it in your cooking:
1. Braising: Chu Hou Paste is commonly used in braised dishes, especially beef brisket. To use it in braising, blanch the meat first, then fry the Chu Hou Paste with ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add the meat and some water, then braise until tender.
2. Marinade: Chu Hou Paste can also be used as a marinade for meats, such as pork or chicken. Simply mix it with some soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine, then marinate the meat for a few hours before cooking.
3. Stir-fry: While Chu Hou Paste is not commonly used in stir-fries, it can add a unique flavor to your dishes. Mix it with some soy sauce and sugar, then add it to your stir-fry towards the end of cooking.
4. Noodles: Chu Hou Paste is also great for adding flavor to noodle dishes. Mix it with some soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar, then toss it with your cooked noodles.
When using Chu Hou Paste in your cooking, be sure to adjust the seasoning levels accordingly and adjust the amounts of paste according to your own preferences for sweetness. With its unique flavor profile, Chu Hou Paste can add depth and complexity to your dishes and take them to the next level.
How To Use Hoisin Sauce In Cooking
Hoisin sauce is a versatile ingredient that can add a sweet and savory flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are some ways to use hoisin sauce in your cooking:
1. Stir Fry: Add a tablespoon or two of hoisin sauce to any stir fry and serve over rice for a quick and easy meal.
2. Noodles: Add a tablespoon or two of hoisin sauce to noodles and serve with steamed vegetables, soft-boiled eggs, and a savory broth for a filling meal.
3. Salmon: Combine equal parts soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and lime juice to glaze salmon fillets on the grill.
4. Beef: Hoisin sauce pairs wonderfully well with beef, so add a tablespoon of sauce to any Asian-flavored beef dish you create.
5. Hoisin Peanut Sauce: Combine about two tablespoons of hoisin with about half a cup of peanut butter and enough water to make a smooth sauce you can use for dipping Vietnamese rolls with rice paper.
6. Chicken: Coat chicken drumsticks with equal parts hoisin and orange juice and add in a tablespoon each of honey, garlic, and lime juice before cooking in the oven.
7. Marinades: Create delicious marinades for meat, seafood or vegetables when you combine hoisin, honey, lemon, salt, and garlic.
8. Carrots: Glaze carrots with equal parts maple syrup and hoisin sauce for a flavor twist.
9. Wraps: Brush vegetables or meat with hoisin sauce as you grill and then wrap them up in a toasted tortilla for a fresh take on a sandwich wrap.
When using hoisin sauce in your cooking, it’s important to remember that the taste can be overpowering if you use too much. It’s recommended that you use only a bit at a time to experiment with the flavor or dilute the flavor by adding water or oil before using it in a recipe. Hoisin sauce is an excellent way to add an authentic Asian flavor, thickening, and color to your dishes. So go ahead and try it out in your next meal!