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Making Chinese Black Bean Sauce

My favourite black bean sauce is out of production and I don't like the commercially produced stuff. Has anyone tried making their own? I see several recipes on the 'net but not sure which one would be the right one. Suggestions appreciated.

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  1. If you have a Chinese market near you they'll have "fresh" black beans. You rinse them in water and mash them up with fresh garlic.
    You'll never go back to the stuff in the jar again.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Do you mean 'fresh' or 'fermented'? I have seen so many references to fermented. That's it, just fresh garlic? Seems too easy. I can't go back to the jar stuff after eating the housemade black bean sauce at a favourite restaurant. They stopped making it unfortunately.

      1. re: sarah galvin

        Yes, I meant fermented. Store in the refrigerator.
        Just rinse with water first.
        The jar stuff came on the market maybe 25 years ago?

    2. I like this recipe, though I cannot say that I have ever used a store-bought version.
      http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes/h...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kelseylanesmith

        This looks like an interesting recipe. I'll certainly give it a try. I would also like to make a black bean sauce without the chilis.

      2. Before there was prepared black bean sauce, I learned to season with fermented black beans. Not complicated. Just rinse several times in cold water, crush with a spoon and use. I suggest you wait until beans are added to add salt to the dish. The beans will keep in the fridge for months.

        1. Here's a Mark Bittman recipe for stir fried shrimp with black beans:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/26/din...

          I've made it many times, it's a cinch, and you can replace the shrimp with any ol' thing. I don't rinse my black beans, nor do I refrigerate them, but now I'm thinking maybe I should.

          2 Replies
          1. re: small h

            Best darned Shrimp w/ Lobster Sauce you will ever eat....
            Mash up a tablespoon or two of black beans with some garlic and heat in hot oil. Add 1/2 pound of ground pork and brown. Add some corn starch slurry a tablespoon of oyster sauce then a pound of peeled and deveined shrimp. Cook till the shrimp is just pink and add a couple raw eggs and stir.

            1. re: small h

              I love scallops with black bean sauce. I am definitely going to be using fermented black beans from now on. Thanks for all the ideas.

            2. Mom taught me to make our own black bean sauce at a very young age so it's something I do regularly. Once you've had the home stuff, it's hard to do the jar version. Believe it or now, some people still know how to ferment their own black beans. During my mom's last HK visit, one of her friends gave us some homemade fermented black bean and boy it's good. Very old school flavouring which you can't get anymore with commercial brands.

              2 Replies
                1. re: gourmet wife

                  I am desperate to learn how to make fermented black beans from scratch. Can your Mum put me in touch with anyone who can help?