Crossing a cultural divide, hoisin brings the dominant Asian flavor to this sauce that still retains the American standard of a sweet and tangy tomato base.
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Hoisin was always a bit of a mystery, but some tinkering in the kitchen came up with a pretty spot on replica that's sweet a first, then mixes with the tang of vinegar, while having the familiar deep Asian flavors throughout.
I've had incredible success with every recipe I've tried from Takashi's Noodles, written by the celebrated Chicago chef Takashi Yagihashi. His instructions for soba, ramen, and udon have all been authentic, utterly delicious, and relatively easy to prepare at home. But the same level of authenticity disappears in the back of the book, when he starts dishing out wacky recipes for Italian pasta that are blessedly free of tradition.
This wing sauce isn't better than Buffalo sauce, but that's not really the point. It's just another example of how fried wings drenched in sauce can be so delicious.