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A question about Chinese fermented black beans

CindyJ Feb 15, 2013 10:27 AM

I'm wondering how long they keep. I have an unopened container that I've had in the fridge since the summer. Are they still usable? Thanks!

  1. raytamsgv Feb 15, 2013 03:37 PM

    I've had them for almost 5 years in my pantry. They aren't even in an airtight container--just a simple plastic bag.

    1. Bacardi1 Feb 15, 2013 02:48 PM

      I'm assuming you're talking about the salted fermented black beans & not a paste or sauce?

      Those babies last FOREVER. Literally. So long as they're kept in an airtight container in your pantry & - like pretty much everything else - away from strong light & heat - you'll never have to toss them due to spoilage. And there's absolutely ZERO reason to keep them in the refrigerator unless the package states otherwise. And if they're the salted fermented black beans, it won't.

      Once I open a new package, I put it in a Ziploc back, squeeze out the air, & then put the bag into an air-tight container - usually a large glass jar. Although I use them fairly frequently, most recipes only call for a small amount, & I've had properly stored open packages in my pantry for well over a year without any deterioration in quality.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bacardi1
        CindyJ Feb 15, 2013 03:14 PM

        Thanks -- that's helpful. Yes, they're salted fermented black beans and I don't recall why I stuck them in the fridge, but that's where they've been.

        1. re: CindyJ
          Bacardi1 Feb 15, 2013 03:29 PM

          I'm that way about a lot of stuff - particularly Asian ingredients for some reason.

          But trust me - no need to clutter up your fridge with them. At least one of the very reasons they were salted & fermented in the first place was to give them a superior dry shelf life.

      2. h
        HillsofBeverly Feb 15, 2013 11:13 AM

        I've had some in one of those glass jars with a rubber gasket and locking metal clasp for about 2 years - seem just fine. Between the salt and drying they could probably last for decades (like the dried food found in ancient tombs).

        1. CindyJ Feb 15, 2013 10:55 AM

          Thanks, everyone, for your quick replies!

          1. Chemicalkinetics Feb 15, 2013 10:39 AM

            They can be kept for a long time. How long is long? I don't know, but typically speaking, it is not a problem to keep the opened containers for up to ten years in a refrigerator. I never had the chance to keep them that long. Usually they are gone by then.

            For an unopened container, you are definitely fine.

            1. d
              dimsumgirl Feb 15, 2013 10:32 AM

              Yes, definitely. They are pretty much indestructible. I think they are fine; enjoy the wonderful flavor that comes from black beans!

              1. ipsedixit Feb 15, 2013 10:29 AM

                Yes.

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