Shopping for Hoisin and Mirin. Any Good Brands?
I was in my local supermarket and saw Kikkoman hoisin, but the salt content was through the roof. Is that typical, or should I look for a different brand? Any tips for mirin as well? I do have access to Asian markets if there are brands I can find there.
Hoisin is a condiment, so it's salt levels will be up there with ketchup and soy sauce.
Look at the ingredients for mirin. Kikkoman aji mirin is not real mirin (sweet rice wine/sake) but a flavored corn syrup.
You do not want aji-mirin, you want hon-mirin -- it is the real stuff. Aji-mirin is not real mirin. Sorry. Check out http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/din...
As for Hoisin, I am still looking for a favorite. We used to get one we liked but I can no longer find it (and I don't have an empty jar). Ask at the Asian market which one they like and why. FYI, I often mix a bit of mirin with the hoisin for dipping stuff in.
I use Mitoku brand mirin. Once I discovered it, I cannot use anything else. I buy it online, but it is worth it.
At one time Koon Chun, with its distinctive blue and yellow labels, was the main, even only, brand of hoisin in the USA, and probably set the expectations for many of us. These days I end up buying more LKK sauces. My latest purchase was a small bottle of Amoy brand, which doesn't quite match what I expected.