Hoisin sauce contains soy beans, ketchup, maple syrup, red chiles, garlic, vinegar, and Chinese five spice. It truly is a chameleon of condiments! and you can make so many different recipes with it. You have hoisin chicken wings, hoisin chicken noodles, hoisin chicken wraps, hoisin chicken drumsticks, hoisin chicken stir fry broccoli and even hoisin chicken and rice.
In this recipe, it’s lightly brushed on thin chicken cutlets, which rest atop silky rice noodles coated in the most addictive sauce of butter and tamari. Adding sesame seeds make for a perfect finish.
Key to this meal
This is a very simple dish to cook. But one step that is very important is to Pound the chicken. Pat the chicken dry, using a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Pound to an even ½-inch thickness for maximum tenderness. Rub with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
History of Hoisin
The word hoisin is Chinese for seafood, but the sauce does not contain any seafood ingredients. Hoisin is a thick fragrant sauce commonly used in Asian cuisine as a glaze for meat. An addition to stir frys, or as a dipping sauce and it’s a dark amber color in appearance and sweet and salty in taste.
Although there are regional variations, hoisin sauce usually includes soy beans, fennel seeds, red chillies, and garlic. Vinegar, Chinese five spice, and sugar are also commonly added.
Tips for cooking chicken
Chicken breasts should not be thicker than 1-inch, max. If your chicken breasts are thick, use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to a smaller and even thickness BEFORE cooking.
DO NOT stir or move the chicken breasts around while cooking. Let cook for 5 minutes or until you can easily flip them over. If there’s any resistance when trying to flip them, give it another minute before trying again.
Wine pairing for Hoisin Chicken
Chicken goes great with a lighter-bodied Pinot Noir because it tends to be more acidic. It is not overwhelmed by the chicken flavors and washes it down just right. Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes. The name is French word for pine and black. As a go to rule the lighter the meat, the lighter the wine.
Hoisin Chicken Cutlets with Buttery Soy Noodles & Bok Choy
- 1 oz scallions
- 1 ⁄2 lb baby bok choy
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 ⁄2 oz toasted sesame oil
- 7 oz stir-fry rice noodles use 2⁄3
- 1 oz tamari in fish-shaped pods
- 2 oz hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- kosher salt & ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp butter
- neutral oil such as vegetable
- Prep ingredients: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim ends from scallions and thinly slice on an angle; reserve 2 tablespoons scallion greens in a small bowl for step 6. Cut bok choy lengthwise into 1-inch wedges, and rinse well to remove any grit.
- Pound chicken: Pat chicken dry, and using a meat mallet or heavy skillet, pound to an even ½-inch thickness. Rub with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let sit until step 5.
- Blanch bok choy: Add bok choy to boiling water and cook until wilted, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander to drain. Shake out excess water from bok choy. Return water in pot to a boil.
- Cook noodles: Add ⅔ of the noodles to pot (save rest for your own use). Cook, stirring, until tender, 6–7 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain and rinse noodles with lukewarm water; return to pot. Add tamari, 1 tablespoon butter, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and scallion whites. Stir in 2 tablespoons cooking water. Remove from heat, and cover to keep warm.
- Cook chicken: Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add bok choy and cook, turning once or twice, until browned in spots, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a platter; cover to keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until lightly browned and nearly cooked through, 2–3 minutes per side.
- Finish & serve: Mix hoisin with ½ teaspoon sesame oil and remaining noodle cooking water and add to skillet. Cook on low, turning chicken until glazed with sauce, about 2 minutes. Serve noodles with chicken and bok choy. Drizzle hoisin sauce over chicken. Sprinkle all with sesame seeds and reserved scallion greens. Enjoy!
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