Salted Black Beans or Fermented Black Beans are small salty and savory black beans that are often associated with fermented soy bean pastes. Instead of being a paste though these are preserved as a whole bean that has been softened by salt. These black beans are often cleaned then preserved with salt or sometimes brine and some preservatives. The taste is often described as intensely salty, subtly pungent and bitter, but aromatic and very savory. An Asian ingredient that you can commonly find in Chinese cuisine to add an interesting savory-umami profile, best added in dishes like fried, braised, or stewed fish, pork, tofu, and vegetable dishes.
A short Introduction
Salted Black beans, which are also called “Chinese Fermented black beans” or “Douchi”, “Fermented black beans”, or simply “Salty black beans”. These are made by mixing black beans (not to be confused with black turtle beans used in South America, Central America, or the Caribbean. Salted beans are small black beans) with salt, fermented till the beans are semi-dry, feel quite soft, and the coloring turns from black to slightly brown. These fermented beans might smell a bit pungent, but the taste makes up for it. These taste intensely salty and savory but mellow down once cooked, the beans also add a good amount of umami into the dishes.
Being one of the oldest foods known to be made, these were found in 165 BCE in a Han Tomb, South Central China that was opened in 1972. There were also written records since 90 BCE that these beans were encased and fermented in earthenware and were used as an important commodity, one which many still use today. There are a long list of recipes using preserved black beans. From creating your own Chinese fermented black beans recipe at home, to adding these preserved beans into an array of recipes like ground pork tofu black bean sauce being a popular choice for those wanting to give it a first try, black bean sauce chicken, or chicken feet dimsum with the said sauce, the famous mapo tofu, steamed spare ribs and a lot more Yummy Kitchen recipes linked down below!
Salted Black Beans Questions:
- How to use Salted Black Beans?
When using this ingredient, it’s best to thoroughly rinse thse from the ‘brine/sauce’.
- Open the can and place the beans in a stainer.
- Rinse under running water till it looks clear.
- Drain before using.
- Fermented black beans nutrition?
A tablespoon of these fermented black beans have around 15 calories. Due to the fermentation process they do act as a probiotic which is beneficial to the gut. Moderate consumption of these also help you absorb other vitamins and nutrients better.
- Fermented black beans substitutes?
Alternatives include hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, miso paste, tian mian sauce (a Chinese condiment), black bean sauce, or fish sauce.
- Where to buy fermented black beans?
These can be found in most grocery stores in Asia. But for those outside Asian countries they can be found in Asian specialty stores or might be found in the Asian aisle at some grocery stores. But to be sure they are commonly sold online.
Salted Black Beans in Tagalog are called “Tausi Beans” usually shortened to “Tausi”. This ingredient is typically used in Filipino-Chinese fusion dishes especially in sauces that are made to stew or braise meats like fish, pork, or with vegetables and tofu. What is tausi sauce? Tausi taking the from of a very salty and savory flavor profile is mixed in with aromatics like garlic and onions, seldom with soy sauce but some still do add a touch of soy sauce for added umami and color. These added with a sweet touch of sugar, honey, or fruits especially pineapple to cut through the saltiness making a nicely balanced and flavorful addicting sauce. You can find tausi beans sold in grocery stores commonly under the brand “Temple” or rather “Temple salted black beans” whose products suit most Filipinos’ taste buds. But for those really wanting a more authentic dry vacuum sealed black bean, aka the Chinese version, these can be found in Asian or Chinese specialty stores.
Salted black beans recipes:
Wondering how to enjoy this strong tasting and interesting fermented ingredient? Here are some of Yummy Kitchen’s favorite fermented black beans recipes (tausi recipes):
- Try out this deliciously tender and savory Pork humba recipe – A pork tausi recipe is oozing with rich and intense flavors. Try out the pan fried version here : Pork Pata Humba.
- Tokwa’t Manok – a chicken and tofu dish made even better with a mix of fermented black beans sauce. Try out this tofu, pork with salted black beans version here : Tokwa’t Baboy.
- Bangus with Tausi – sometimes called “tausi bangus” is fish with salted black beans. Specifically milkfish stewed in a good amount of aromatics and fermented salted black beans. Some recipes also include adding tofu for extra protein ‘fish and tofu with black bean sauce’.
- Another fish tausi recipe would be Bangus with Pineapple, a recipe with a balanced taste of sweet-salty and savory.