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Mar 1, 2008 01:08 PM

fermented bean pastes...miso, douban jiang, etc [Moved from Home Cooking board

Looking for an expert on Asian bean pastes...
we're talking primarily fermented soy or fava beans and salt
So far I haven't had luck finding the Szechuan chili bean paste recommended by Fuchsia Dunlop in her cookbook. I imagine I'll locate some Lee Kum Kee chili bean sauce sooner or later, but in the meantime...
I have some gorgeous artisanal brown miso, and some Korean chili/fermentedsoy/sesame paste.
Anybody have a sense of how these and the many other fermented bean products available in the world differ in terms of flavor, salt content etc.?

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  1. I can't help with the question about comparisons/contrasts among different pastes, but I think you're in NYC so if you get the chance, look at Kam Man, on Canal St, for the douban jiang (or I think maybe the stuff from Pixiang has a slightly different name?) At least a couple are indeed from Pixiang, so I deduced from what English I could find on the labels, but I haven't even used the one I did get yet, so I can't comment on their flavor, relative or otherwise.

    1. pitu - try this instead:

      Lan Chi Brand "Chili Paste with Garlic"

      Available at Kam Man, first floor. I think they may even have a Chili Paste with Beans....Lan Chi is a made in Taiwan.

      3 Replies
      1. re: scoopG

        I'm finding this pantry post pretty helpful:
        The Dunlop book provoked a few of these types of posts on the food blogs about a year ago...

        Although I haven't found any comparisons across cultures yet, so if anyone has thoughts on the Chinese v Korean v Japanese fermented bean pastes, please hold forth

        1. re: pitu

          I've used the Koon Chun Bean Sauce brand she recommends there, and it is good. No preservatives, unlike is often the case with LKK. You might also see it in cans, if not bottles. I found a pic of the bottle:

        2. re: scoopG

          I bought some Chili Paste with beans yesterday - it's darker and has a stronger smell than the chili paste, though I've not tasted it yet. I'm still confused about the various jars of chili products that I bought yesterday - not sure what I have and how it fits into items called for in Dunlop!!

        3. This thread had some comparison between Korean & Japanese -