Doubanjiang: the spicy bean sauce

Doubanjiang is a fermented hot sauce made from soy beans typical of the Chinese region of Sichuan.

In Chinese cuisine there are many types of pasta and soy sauces . One of the best known, perhaps the most famous, is doubanjiang , the spicy bean sauce . Pasta made from soybeans, soy beans, spices and fermented chillies, doubanjiang is often also referred to by other names and is widely used among the recipes of Sichuan province , where spicy flavors dominate a lot. It is known as the soul of Sichuan cuisine and is used as a condiment or as the basis of recipes. 


  1. What does doubanjiang taste like
  2. Pixian: doubanjiang’s most famous variety
  3. How doubanjiang is used in the kitchen

What does doubanjiang taste like

Spicy, salty, savory : umami , in one word. According to some local legends, doubanjiang owes its origins to some immigrants from the city ​​of Chengdu . As they left the city after a great war, taking some fermenting soybeans with them , they would mix them (by will or error) with the chili , thus creating a new condiment. Even today, the preparation with the classic doubanjiang method takes almost a year, with several moments of fermentation. The sauce is mixed every day, by hand, in terracotta jars, until it is ready. 

Pixian: doubanjiang’s most famous variety

The best known variety of doubanjiang is probably the Pixian . It is produced with a long period of fermentation under the sunlight , often more than 3 years, and thus obtains not only a brownish-red color , but on the palate it is umami and complex. The Pixian doubanjiang is even protected geographical indication , as it has to meet certain standards of quality assessment. 

How doubanjiang is used in the kitchen

Since it is kept for a long time, doubanjiang is prepared once a year in families . However, at least 4 months must pass from preparation to enjoy a decent fermented pasta. For its use, we have seen, it is used at the base of preparations, in oil, and is an essential ingredient for some recipes, especially the Sichuan classics . For example the Mapo Tofu , tea dipped in spicy sauce , or the Dandanmian , the Dandan spaghetti , or to prepare the Hui Guo Rou , the pork cooked twice . 

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