black bean sauce

Bean Black Sauce

Posted July 14, 2023 by: Admin #Kitchen

Discover the secrets of creating an authentic Chinese-style black bean sauce in the comfort of your own kitchen. Our delightful recipe showcases the tantalizing essence of fermented black beans, also known as the illustrious salted black beans, transforming your culinary endeavors into an extraordinary experience.


With just a brief soaking of 30 to 60 minutes, these magical beans unveil their true potential, eagerly awaiting their transformation into a luxurious, umami-packed sauce that effortlessly enhances any stir-fry creation.

A glass jar filled with homemade black bean sauce. There is a black spoon, taking a spoonful from the jar. The jar is on a dark surface and there are scattered ingredients.

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I love making stir-fry sauces as they are usually very simple – requiring little more than a splash of various ingredients from several bottles, plus some garlic and ginger.

Black bean sauce has always intrigued me though, as it contains something I’ve never used before. Black beans of course.
Now we are not talking about canned or dried black beans. Black bean sauce calls for fermented black beans, also known as douchi. These are black soybeans that have been fermented and salted.

I have to admit, I really didn’t want to go to the effort (6+ months) of fermenting black beans myself, but luckily you can buy them in packets, already fermented!



Ingredients for homemade black bean sauce on a wooden board.

Most of the ingredients for black bean sauce are very easy to find in almost any mid-sized supermarket. It’s just the beans that can be a little harder to find.

You should be able to pick them up at any Asian supermarket, or if you don’t have one close by, Amazon sells them too.


We only need 4 tablespoons of fermented black beans to make a cup of black bean sauce (which should serve about 4 people), so I’d advise going with the smaller packet, unless you’re looking to make a LOT of black bean sauce.

  • The red pack (<–affiliate link) shown below is a 100g pack. I use about a third of this packet to make a jar of black bean sauce.
  • The white pack (<–affiliate link) is 500g! I bought a large pack because I knew I would be doing a lot of testing.

Fortunately they last for years. An opened package should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Happily they should last a year there.

two different packets of fermented black beans on a wooden board.

See how to do it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • First we soak the fermented black beans in cold water for about an hour. After this time, drain and rinse the beans. The beans are very salty, be sure to rinse well.
  • Flatten the beans a bit with the back of a fork. Leave about a quarter of the beans whole, the rest can be smashed into a lumpy paste.
  • Fry the garlic and ginger in oil with the black beans. Then add the rice wine, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, pepper, and broth.
  • Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Thicken the sauce with a little cornmeal, then turn off the heat and it’s ready to go.

PRO TIP The sauce will be salty, but once you’ve fried it with meat and vegetables, it will have a perfectly balanced flavor. You can use reduced sodium broth if you are concerned that it will be too salty for your liking.

A glass jar filled with homemade black bean sauce. There is a black spoon, taking a spoonful from the jar. The jar is on a dark surface and there are ingredients at the bottom.

How to use it

  • Stir-fried with chicken, tofu or vegetables
  • Stir-fry with beef and vegetables for a tasty beef in black bean sauce

Beef in black bean sauce stir-fried with boiled rice in a bowl, topped with scallions and sesame seeds.


If you don’t want to use the sauce right away, you can chill it and then store it in a sealed container/jar in the fridge for 2 weeks.

A glass jar filled with homemade black bean sauce. There is a black spoon sticking out of the jar. The jar is on a dark surface and there are ingredients at the bottom.

Black Bean Dip Recipe

Simple homemade Chinese-style black bean sauce made with fermented black beans.

  • Preparation time 10 minutes minutes
  • Cooking time 8 minutes minutes
  • soaking time 1 hour hr
  • Total time 1 hour hr 18 minutes mins
  • Sauces Course
  • Chinese cuisine
  • 4 servings
  • Calories 136 kcal


  1. Start by soaking the fermented black beans. Place in a container and cover with cold water. Let soak for an hour, then rinse and drain.
  2. 4 tablespoons fermented black beans
  3. Once drained, mash the black beans a little with the back of a fork. I like to shred about three quarters of it and leave the rest whole.
  4. Add the sesame and rapeseed oil to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat.
  5. 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  6. Add the garlic, ginger, and black beans and cook for one minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  7. 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  8. Add rice wine, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, pepper, and broth.
  9. 2 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing rice wine, 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons granulated or fine sugar, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 180 ml ¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  10. Stir, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly reduced.
  11. Add the cornmeal mixture to thicken the sauce, then turn off the heat.
  12. Cornmeal
  13. Use immediately, or chill, cover, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.



Thanks for your SHARES!

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