hoisinOne of my signature special occasion dishes is Peking Chicken, a version of Peking Duck. I’ve been making it for years and it is a family favorite. A whole chicken is roasted at high heat and glazed with a wonderful sauce. I make thin scallion pancakes and create a sauce from the pan drippings. It’s rich and delicious. When I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant, I thought I would never eat it again (I think I had an entire week of mourning over all the things I thought I would never eat again), since the sauce is made with soy sauce and hoisin. Gluten-free soy sauce is a pretty common find these days, but I had no hope for the hoisin.

On a whim, I looked to see what substitutes I could find and I stumbled on Joyce Chen’s Gluten-Freepeking chicken Hoisin at the grocery store. I bought 4 bottles of it because I was so excited! I made my Peking Chicken recipe for my husband’s birthday dinner. I didn’t even think to taste the sauce and stupidly assumed it would taste like my regular hoisin. Unfortunately, it didn’t and the lovely sauce that makes this dish so divine tasted like vinegar because of it. I hurriedly doctored my sauce by adding more honey, soy sauce and cornstarch and got it to the point where it was ok, but it was not the same. I then tasted the hoisin straight from the jar and realized it is incredibly sour and vinegar-y. I’m disappointed in this brand and will be looking for another option for future dishes. It’s usable, but needs a lot of sweetener to counterbalance it.

You can find my Peking Chicken recipe here. Substitute GF soy sauce and GF hoisin (hopefully you can find another brand!).  For the pancakes, Cup4Cup flour worked well, but needed just a bit more liquid to loosen the batter up.