Chinese black bean paste - how to make my own?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by slayertplsko, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. slayertplsko

    slayertplsko

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    Hi. I'd like to cook some Szechwan dishes, but I don't have this ingredient and it seems it's essential. I'm not sure whether I could get one from my local grocery, perhaps I could, but I'd rather make my own. I've search the net but couldn't find how it's made. Would you give me a recipe? Thanks.
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Black bean past are not your common black beans. they are a soy bean that has been spiced with garlic, salt and other spices. Then it  is fermented with a Rhizopus mold added to it. This mold is not dangerous its like they do with cheeses. I do not think you can do it home nor does it pay to do it home.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Fermented black beans won't be found outside of an Asian grocer, at least not in my experience. They come canned or in a plastic bag. The canned ones can be used right out of the can. The plastic bag ones need a little water soak to loosen up.

    If you aren't willing to go the distance to find some at an Asian grocer, which I recommend, you can order them online.  Going to the grocer gives you the chance to add all the rest of the seasonings, condiments and specialty ingredients that will improve your Chinese meals.  Most of these ingredients keep next to forever so you don't need to worry too much about spoiling.

    I always have to ask for help in finding these at the Asian grocer as often there is no English on the label. I usually get the plastic pack.

    A little google search offers these internet sources:

    http://www.google.com/products?q=chinese+fermented+black+bean&hl=en&aq=f
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  4. slayertplsko

    slayertplsko

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    Thank you guys for your replies. But now I'm confused - so is black bean paste the same as fermented black beans (of course, I know it's a misnomer and they're in fact soybeans)?

    There are no particular Asian grocers that I know of in my town but there is a shop that sells similar stuff, so I will look there. I'm from Slovakia and our national cuisine mostly consists of potatoes, pasta, sauerkraut, chillies, a lot of diary, poultry, beef and pork products and doesn't use spices much and not many Asians live here, at least in my town. There is some Vietnamese minority living in my town, but they sell second hand clothes rather than their food products, sadly. Some foreign stores like Billa, Tesco or Carrefour do have some Asian products, but probably not this one. I'll probably have to order it online.

    So will it keep well even after opening? And I guess I should keep it in the fridge, right?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The canned/jarred ones should be refrigerated. If you have the can, you'll probably want to transfer it to a container that won't rust. I keep the dry plastic pack kind in a zip-locking bag in the cupboard without problems.

    The paste/sauce varieties tend to already be mixed with garlic and/or chiles. Which is how it's often used anyway.

    You'd probably want to find a European vendor to save on shipping costs as opposed to the ones I linked to.

    If you ask the Vietnamese, they'll probably be able to point you towards the sources they use for their native products.
     
  6. slayertplsko

    slayertplsko

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  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    They're different. Usually brown bean sauce (and there's a hot version too) aren't as pungent and a somewhat different flavor profile. Useful in it's own right though. As I recall this is based in the leftover product from making soy sauce.
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I also was told it was the end product of GOOD soy sauce, not La Choy or store brands. (Kikomin is frmented)