Even the Hoisin is House Made

By

Korakot Suriya-arporn
Will Blunt
Char Siu Pork Jowl, Vermicelli Noodle, Chiles, Garlic, and Herbs
Char Siu Pork Jowl, Vermicelli Noodle, Chiles, Garlic, and Herbs

There’s no place for bottled hoisin sauce at Corner Table in Minneapolis. “I find most bottled hoisin cloying and with a lingering aftertaste,” says Chef Thomas Boemer. Instead, he makes his own using roasted sweet potatoes, a traditional ingredient for Peking-style hoisin. After a thorough oven roasting, the naturally sugary root vegetable provides a deep sweetness and lots of texture. Boemer finishes the sauce with soy, black vinegar, and more sugar to fortify the flavor. “We like to take fundamental kitchen staple ingredients and make something from it. No bottled stuff.” he says.

Boemer uses the hoisin in a jowl dish inspired by char siu, or Chinese barbecued pork. He glazes the jowls with a mix of hoisin, five-spice powder, maltose, and honey. Then he slow roasts them until they’re caramelized and charred. At pick-up, he slices the now candied pork and plates it with Vietnamese accoutrements: vermicelli, chiles, herbs, garlic, and nuoc cham.

Corner Table Hoisin:
1. In a pot over medium heat, combine 2 cups roasted sweet potatoes (scooped from their skins), ¾ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup black vinegar, ¾ white sugar, and ½ cup brown sugar.
2. Cook until slightly thickened and dark.
3. Blend, and strain through a chinois.
4. For the char siu glaze, combine 2 cups hoisin, 1 cup maltose, 1 cup raw honey, and 1 tablespoon five-spice powder.

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