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Chinese Black Bean Sauce
A classic sauce for use with seafood, meats, and vegetables

Black Bean Sauce

Chinese Black Bean Sauce (aka Black Bean Paste)
By Kimberly Killebrew, author of the Daring Gourmet blog.
Prep time 5 minutes; Cook time 15 minutes; Total time 20 minutes
Makes about ¾ cup

3 tablespoons fermented black beans*, soaked in water about an hour then rinsed and drained (if you prefer a stronger and saltier flavor, use more beans)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive or macadmia nut oil
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
2 green onions, finely chopped
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
½ teaspoon rice vinegar
½ to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce or sambal oelek, for heat (optional)
1½ teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

*Find fermented black soybeans in well-stocked supermarkets and Asian grocery stores, or buy them online.

  1. Mash soaked and drained fermented black beans with a fork and set aside.
    Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or two until softened and very fragrant. Add the green onions and cook for another minute. Add the mashed beans and cook for another minute.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and simmer for another minute or until thickened.
  3. Let the black bean sauce cool and store in an airtight container (preferably glass). Will keep for up to 2 weeks.
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