ASIAN BARBECUE SAUCE
6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup minced shallot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/3 cup sugar
Stir together all ingredients except sugar in a bowl.
Cook sugar in a dry heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted into a deep golden caramel. Tilt pan and carefully pour in hoisin mixture (caramel will harden and steam vigorously). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Serve with shrimp, swordfish, pork, or chicken.
Makes about 1 cup.