Help me identify what type of black beans I purchased? See, photo, Thanks!

Can I use these to make a Chinese-American classic "Black Bean Chicken?" I took a pic of the ingredients list. It does NOT contain salt, but does contain lactic acid. I haven't opened the jar yet. In the past I have purchased black bean sauce that already had garlic, salt, etc. in it, but this time I want to make my own. Are these the right type? I am wary because salt is not listed, and some recipes say to rinse the salted black beans. Thank you!

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12 Comments

Tarragon August 29, 2012
Sadassa_Ulna, I don't have my recipe here but I really add about 1T of the drained, rinsed black beans to a regular stir fry sauce. Combine and have ready soy sauce, chicken stock, 1 T black beans, cornstarch (sorry, don't have the exact amounts here). You might also add some oyster sauce. In a wok or skillet quickly brown minced garlic, thinly sliced scallions, minced ginger. Add the liquids to the wok or skillet, stir, and simmer a minute or two until thickened. In a stir fry you can just add the liquids to the vegetables and proteins you are stir frying. If you want a separate sauce, combine the liquids with the garlic/ginger/scallion mixture and use in your recipe..
 
Tarragon August 29, 2012
I love, love using fermented black beans and now I know I can get the plastic bags, I'm so excited! I use them in stir fries, but they are wonderful for steamed fish also.
 
HalfPint August 29, 2012
yep, salted black beans, some slivered green onions, splash of sherry, and a drizzle of sesame oil. doesn't get any better than that.
 
AntoniaJames August 29, 2012
Here's a great recipe for using fermented black beans: http://www.food52.com/recipes/18619_black_bean_orange_peel_edamame I'd rinse and drain the black beans. I've used the sauce from this recipe not just for edamame but also tossed with fried tofu (frozen and squeezed dry, first) and with lightly sauteed vegetables. Last time, I used ponzu instead of orange juice and peel. Outstanding! Oh, and I generally buy the black beans in plastic bags, which I keep in my veggie drawer. They last forever (and take up less space than a jar). The product is called "Salted Black Beans" but it's the same stuff, minus the sauce. ;o)
 
Tarragon August 29, 2012
AntoniaJames - thank you, I've always wondered about the ones in the plastic bags!
 
AntoniaJames August 29, 2012
Tarragon, they're a simply wonderful ingredient. They cost practically nothing, they last forever, they take up no space in the fridge and they can utterly transform ordinary ingredients to make a great meal. In baseball, they're called "five tool" players, and they are usually MVPs throughout their careers. ;o)
 
Sadassa_Ulna August 29, 2012
Thanks AJ, that recipe looks great. I will look for the ones you described because I like the saltiness of black bean sauce. And I like your baseball analogy!
 
Tarragon August 29, 2012
I have brought that same jar several times and I do use them in Chinese recipes - I do prefer to drain them. I've noticed that the beans come in many forms in the Chinese markets - I've always bought that jar because it was the easiest to save.
 
Sadassa_Ulna August 29, 2012
Thanks Tarragon, how do you cook with those unsalted ones? Do you mix them with anything (like salt) before adding?
 
HalfPint August 29, 2012
Well I found your jar: http://www.jemangelaville.com/2008/08/17/chicken-and-green-beans-with-fermented-black-beans-its-a-beanapalooza/

It's definitely fermented black beans, but not sure if it's the correct one for your recipe, which said to rinse the beans which indicates salted black beans, and it looks like this:
http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesefoodglossary1/g/blackbeans.htm

Try the recipe with your beans, without rinsing, it just might work.
 
Sadassa_Ulna August 29, 2012
Thanks HalfPint, I can't believe you found that blog pondering the same thing about the same brand of black beans. I appreciate the links!
 
Sadassa_Ulna August 29, 2012
OK I realize my pic is not helpful. Ingredients as listed are: black bean, soybean oil, sugar, lactic acid.
 
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