Black bean sauce

Junior Burger
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2005/05/26 20:17:43 (permalink)

Black bean sauce

I am from england so i hope the taste of blackbean suce is made the same where you guys are.

I want to attempt to make a black bean sauce the same taste as in my local chinese takeaway. I have tried using a supermarket brand and failed miserably.

The taste i can only describe is that the beans are very rich and makes me feel hot like when you eat curry. I was told that the reason this is, is because chilli oil is used. I have now purchased this and am yet to try it however before i do i have looked on the net to try and check i am not missing anything. Firstly when i buy a blackbean dish from takeaway there are whole blackbeans and loads of them in the dish, yet the supermarket brand there only seems to be a few bits of beans. Now i have read that rich tasting blackbeans you need fermented/salty black beans. Im a little confused and wondered if anyone knew what exactly i need to get that relly rich hot flavour. Would be extremely grateful for any advice given.

Thank You

3 Replies Related Threads

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    RE: Black bean sauce 2005/07/25 09:27:12 (permalink)
    Hi. I'm a black bean fanatic, and I've found the "Black Bean Sauce" that's available at the grocery stores to be inadequate.

    What you need to do is go to your local Asian grocery and ask for "Chinese black beans" or "fermented black beans." You can also purchase this online:

    As for recipes, try this:


    1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
    4 garlic cloves
    2 jalapenos or other hot chiles
    2 T fermented black soybeans
    3 T rice vinegar
    2 T tamari (or soy sauce)
    1.5 t potato starch (or cornstarch)
    1 T brown sugar
    2 T sake or other rice wine

    Cut the green beans into equal lengths of about 1.5 inches. Blanch the green beans for 3 minutes. Set aside.

    Mince the garlic. De-seed the jalapenos and finely dice. Lightly mash black beans and chop. Mix together the garlic, jalapeno, and black beans. Set aside.

    Mix together the rice vinegar, tamari, starch, sugar, and sake. Set aside.

    Fill a glass with water and set handy next to the stove. Put a wok or skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, dump the garlic mixture into the pan. Stir fry for one minute, adding water as the mixture begins to stick -- add just a little at time. Add the green beans and stir fry for 5 minutes, again adding water just as needed. Add the vinegar mixture, mixing until evenly coated and sauce thickens. Serve immediately.


    Junior Burger
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    RE: Black bean sauce 2005/07/25 12:07:22 (permalink)
    I would also recommend rinsing the fermented black beans that you get from the asian grocery to get the salt. These are very highly salted, and rinsing them will not affect that rich, fermented bean taste.
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Black bean sauce 2005/07/25 12:32:56 (permalink)
    I'll second what Yumbo said--you should probably buy from an Asian grocery, on or off line. There are two main types of bean sauce, whole and ground. You apparently like the former and that's what you should get if you buy a product labeled just "bean sauce". Koon Chun and Sze Chuan are good brands. Important note: These products are not the same as "black bean sauce" as noted on restaurant menus. They are the main INGREDIENT of that sauce (or can be--see below), but you have some cooking to do as yumbo's recipe indicates. You shouldn't attempt to use them straight out of the jar (or can).

    You can also buy bean sauce with added ingredients like chilis, garlic, sesame oil and/or sugar. These should be labeled something like "Soy Bean Paste with Chile" (Lan Chi brand) or "Szechuan Hot Bean Sauce" (Sze Chuan brand) or "sweet bean sauce" etc. Even though nearly all these products are imported from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, the labels should tell you what's in them. Again, they are an ingredient, not something you use as a completed sauce.

    Finally, you can also buy simple fermented black beans or fermented beans with various additives (e.g. ginger), which the above recipe apparently calls for. Brands included Mee Chun, Koon Chun and Yang Jiang.

    Which of these various products you use will depend on preference. I'm afraid you'll have to try a few "black bean sauce" recipes to figure out what your preference is.

    I love Asian cooking but most of the fun has to do with experimenting with the condiments--a little more bean sauce, a touch or chili paste, more or less garlic and ginger, maybe a little Hoisin for sweetness etc etc. So I recommend YOU experiment, perhaps starting with yumbo's recipe, until you get it the way you want it. If I were doing it I'd immediately substitute Shaoxing wine (NOT Shaoxing "cooking" wine) for the sake (this is Chinese rice wine rather than the Japanese sake), I might try it using plain whole "bean sauce" rather than fermented beans (it's a little easier to handle and to get), and maybe I'd use sweet rice flour ("mochiko") or even tapioca flour rather than potato starch.
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