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A jar of spicy black bean sauce.
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5 from 4 votes

Spicy black bean sauce, three versions

Popular, versatile Chinese black bean sauce can be easily made at home. I have three versions to share: classic, with mushrooms or with minced meat.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Sauces
Servings: 1 cup (classic version)
Author: Wei Guo

Ingredients

For classic version

For mushroom version

  • All the ingredients for the classic version
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms rehydrated and finely chopped

For meat version

  • All the ingredients for the classic version
  • 120 g minced beef/pork 1 cup

Instructions

Prepare the black beans

  • Rinse the black beans under running water. Dry them very well with kitchen paper.
  • Coarsely chop them into small pieces (see note 1).

Spice the oil

  • Place spring onion, ginger and Sichuan peppercorn (if using) in a wok (or a frying pan). Pour in the oil then heat up on a medium heat.
  • When the spring onion and ginger become lightly brown, pick them out along with the Sichuan peppercorn and discard.

If making the classic version

  • Add fermented black beans and all the other ingredients into the oil. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

If making the mushroom/meat version

  • Put mushroom/meat into the oil, then fry until it turns light brown. Add fermented black beans and all the other ingredients. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes (see note 3).

Usage

  • It can be used in stir-fries, stews, steamed dishes, as a topping for noodles, or simply spread it on bread, steamed buns, etc.
  • Since the sauce is quite salty, you normally don’t need to add extra salt to the dish.

Storage

  • You can use the sauce straight away or transfer it to an airtight jar when it’s completely cool.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks for the basic version and 1 week for mushroom or meat version.
  • Scoop out the sauce with a dry, clean spoon (see note 4).

Notes

1. If you prefer a smoother texture, instead of roughly chopping the rinsed black beans, you can mince them in a food processor prior to cooking.
2. Choose the type of chilli that suits your taste. In general the hotness of the chilli will reduce when it’s cooked. You may substitute fresh chilli with chilli powder (about 1 tablespoon for this recipe).
3. If you are going to store the meat version of the sauce for later use, please make sure to fry the mined meat until crispy before adding other ingredients. This is to completely remove the water in the meat in order to prolong its fridge life.