As far as I'm concerned, there is no substitution for Hoisin sauce, you either have it or you don't. It is usually made with soybean paste, sesame oil, garlic, vinegar, molasses, and sometimes chilli and other spices. It's a tad sweet and salty. Easy to find in an asian market or grocery store (for A LOT cheaper, too).
Not sure who tried to sub peanut butter, but ya... lol Definitely cannot fault the recipe on that one.
Goes very very well with chopped green onion. I had this with sauteed shiitake mushrooms over rice. Added cayenne pepper for heat. I left the cornstarch out entirely and did not miss it. The hoisin sauce I had on hand was really thick as it was, and with the other ingredients it just made more sense to leave it out. It was thick enough when it sat for a bit anyways. Yum
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As far as I'm concerned, there is no substitution for Hoisin sauce, you either have it or you...