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Authentic Sichuan Chinese Ingredients

eatahorse Jun 29, 2012 02:08 PM

As of June 2012, A domestic mail order source for Juan Cheng brand Pixian Doubanjiang broadbean and chili paste (the "Holy Grail" of authentic Sichuan cooking) is :

http://www.posharpstore.com located in Boston, MA

  1. c
    cirillo Mar 2, 2013 09:50 AM

    Just doing a search for "sichuan" yielded a treasure trove of Land of Plenty worthy sichuan products - facing heaven chili powder, several varieties of pixian broad bean paste, sweet bean paste, preserved sichuan mustard stems, and sichuan peppercorns.


    1. o
      ollie675 Oct 9, 2012 06:10 PM

      If anyone is interested, here is Sichuan Pixiandouban Co., Ltd's homepage where you can read a little about their “Juan Cheng” brand Pixian Bean Sauce and their other products --


      Here are some photos --

      Plus an article by Fuchsia Dunlop --

      1. s
        SichuanFan Jul 13, 2012 06:21 AM

        www.posharpstore.com is a great mail-order source for Sichuanese ingredients (owner Chris Wren is himself Sichuanese and quite responsive to inquiries). But the website itself has certain issues - mainly, not listing ingredients for each product - that I hope Chris will fix over time. I also hope that he will list the producer's address, where possible.

        Juan Cheng Pixian doubanjiang has been my go-to for several years, but I'm planning a taste-off against a few other pastes which Chris offers and that are made in or near Pixian County and will report my impressions.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SichuanFan
          SteveRB Sep 1, 2012 07:32 PM

          This Juan Cheng brand the OP mentioned is the best doubanjiang I have tried so far(got it at 99 Ranch Market- San Diego). Especially with beef.

          There is a Youtube video from the terrific BBC show Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure, with Ken Hom and Ching-He Huang. The title of the video is "Yuan Cheng Pixian Chili Bean Paste". It shows how they make it.

        2. Bacardi1 Jul 5, 2012 03:07 PM

          The above is nothing but Spam. They don't have ANYTHING on their site except for some teas, Asian candies, & other assorted junk. "The "Holy Grail" of authentic Sixhuan cooking"??? I think NOT. They don't even carry Szechuan Peppercorns. And no Chili-Garlic Paste/Sauce. Didn't see any preserved salted black beans. Heck - they don't even have ANY of the basic things that I can find at any local supermarket.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Bacardi1
            Dave MP Jul 5, 2012 03:18 PM

            I did a search on the site for the word "chili" and I didn't find the product the OP mentions. But when I did a search for the word "Pixian" I found it—so I think maybe the site's search feature just isn't that good.

            1. re: Bacardi1
              eatahorse Jul 5, 2012 04:52 PM

              What they DO have is authentic Pixiang chili paste and hence the post...Sorry you had such a hard time navigating.

              1. re: eatahorse
                Bacardi1 Jul 6, 2012 07:45 AM

                Thanks! I searched under all sorts of things & got nothing. I also realize that I misunderstood your post as claiming that that website was the "Holy Grail" of ALL Sichuan ingredients - so my bad, not yours, & I apologize.

              2. re: Bacardi1
                SichuanFan Jul 13, 2012 08:28 AM

                On www.posharpstore.com site, search "Sichuan", and first page of results shows several different brands of Sichuan peppercorns (prickly ash).

                Search "chili garlic" and you'll find a Vietnamese brand sauce and a Chinese one.

                But I, too, can't find "preserved salted" - i.e., fermented - black beans there (maybe because they're so widely available at retail).

                1. re: Bacardi1
                  SichuanFan Jul 13, 2012 04:12 PM

                  BTW, if one accepts Dunlop as THE English-writing authority on Sichuanese cuisine, then one must accept that "Chili-Garlic Paste/Sauce" is unknown in Sichuan.

                  Nonetheless, I like the stuff as a relish. My favorite is Lee Kum Kee's "Guilin Chili Sauce," which contains fermented soybean paste as well as salted and dried chilis and dried garlic and (fresh?) shallots, among other ingredients.

                2. arktos Jul 4, 2012 12:31 PM

                  I don't see any 'facing-heaven chiles' there.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: arktos
                    SichuanFan Jul 13, 2012 08:07 AM

                    Only 2 of posharpstore's dried chilis come from Sichuan - the "Fishwell" and the "Yidayuan" brands. The former are uniquely rounded, with a round point; I've used them satisfactorily for years. The Yidayuan chilis are lanceolate but somewhat wider than most Chinese dried chilis, and the tips of some specimens do curl a bit. Because of that - and because the Yidayuan package illustration shows strings of fresh chilis with up-turned points - the Yidayuan chilis may be the "facing-heaven" ones that Dunlop mentions. Anyway, I've e-mailed her for clarification on what a dried "looking heavenward" chili looks like and will post her answer, if any.

                    I may switch to Yidayuan because I like the flavor and - more important - because they're vacuum-packed and so are fresher than your run-of-the-mill dried chili.

                    1. re: arktos
                      SichuanFan Jul 13, 2012 03:55 PM

                      Oops! I just checked Wikipedia, which shows a picture of dried "facing heaven" chilies that's a dead ringer for the "Fishwell" brand chilis at posharpstore (and some retailers). Guess I'll keep using those and start using - for some dishes - the hotter but vacuum-packed Yidayuan-brand chiles from Sichuan. Evidently, "facing heaven" chilis are more typical of Chongqing, and the Yidayuan-type chilis more typical of Chengdu.

                    2. BigSal Jul 4, 2012 11:58 AM

                      I discovered them a few weeks ago and ordered a couple different kinds of doubanjiang, including the one pictured. Quick delivery. I would order from them again.

                      1. c
                        chilibeanpaste Jul 1, 2012 11:17 AM

                        That is a great one. Make sure to chop the paste very finely before using which seems to release more flavour.

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