Fermented black beans mixed with traditional ingredients creates one of the most popular stir-fry sauces on a Chinese food menu. This pungent and earthy sauce is easy to make and will last in the refrigerator up to a month. It can also be frozen in small portions to easily be used for a quick stir-fry. Because of the saltiness of the beans, there is no need to add salt in the recipes where you use this sauce.


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15 servings


Original recipe yields 15 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Rinse black beans thoroughly and dry. Remove about 1/4 cup and set aside. Roughly chop the rest of the beans.

  • Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add chiles, shallot, ginger, and garlic. Fry until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Do not let the ingredients burn. Reduce the heat if necessary. The objective is to slow cook the ingredients. Add all the beans; both chopped and whole. Simmer, stirring often, until the beans are soft, about 2 minutes. Add tamari, rice wine, brown sugar, ground Sichuan pepper, and five spice. Simmer until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat; let cool, about 10 minutes.

  • Mix in sesame oil and cover. As the sauce rests, the beans will settle and the oil will float, creating a barrier which will protect it from mold. The sauce is ready to use or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Cook's Notes:

Not to be confused with regular black beans, fermented black beans can be found in your local Asian food store or online. They are either canned in liquid or dried and sold in resealable bags. If using the canned type, drain before rinsing.

To Use: Mix well, use about 1/4 cup for a stir fry for 4 people. Dilute with a bit of broth, water, or soy sauce to your stir fry. Use as a marinade for ribs, chicken, or fish. Always top with a bit of pure sesame oil to keep it from molding. Add a dollop to your favorite ramen dish as it is a perfect base for noodle dishes or soups.

Nutrition Facts

211 calories; protein 0.8g; carbohydrates 2.7g; fat 22.2g; sodium 202.7mg. Full Nutrition