Published May 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.
In lieu of the chemical emulsifiers that manufacturers rely on to built viscosity, we came up with an unconventional thickener to use in our Hoisin Grilling Sauce recipe: caramel. It was super-adhesive, tacky, and quick to prepare. We also wanted our Hoisin Grilling Sauce recipe to have a balance of sweet-tangy flavors and a spicy kick, so we paired hoisin sauce with pineapple juice and then flavored it with red pepper flakes and Chinese five-spice powder for heat and spice.