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What type of hot bean sauce to use in a Chinese recipe?

1342 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  stirfrychef
OK, so I have a recipe for crisp stir-fried beef that I'd like to make. The only complexicating factor is the hot bean sauce the recipe calls for. There is an entry for hot bean sauce in the book (see attached pic), and it mentions that it is a Sichuanese condiment, but then says these sauces are "essentially mixes of soybeans and chiles."

Isn't this statement inaccurate? I always thought Sichuanese hot bean sauce (known as dou ban jiang, I believe) had fava beans, not soybeans. The fava beans lend a distinct funkiness to the sauce (more of a paste, actually).

Could I get away using my go-to Sichuan chili bean paste (see last pic) which only uses dried red chili, fava beans, salt, and wheat flour? I've used it to great effect in other Sichuanese dishes, but its flavor profile may not work with the other ingredients for this recipe -- recipe ingredients also attached (see second pic). If that's the case, can anyone recommend a good soybean-based hot bean sauce, preferably without any additives like sugar or food coloring?

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That's the stuff. Pí Xiàn is a county in Sichuan. It's fermented either broadbeans, soybeans, or a mixture with chiles.
Thats the stuff i use too. Check this pick:

The one to the righ is pretty good, but is hongyou. Let me show a close up:

That means it's been mellowed with red oil (literally: hong you) and may not be as pungent as the original. Anyway i prefer it.

This is also available worlwide, but not as good as Pixian doubanjiang.

A short video:

And good info here (read also the comments).
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Hmm, so what I'm reading here is that it may just come down to a matter of taste (literally and figuratively)!  That is, it wouldn't ruin the dish if I used the Pixian paste (the one I pictured, without the oil).  Or if I wanted a slightly mellower heat, I could use the hongyou variety that Ordo mentioned.


I usually use the plain bean paste without the chile, then add chile separately to taste. I don't have the heat tolerance the Asians seem to.
Correct OP. At this point you have a good industrial doubanjiang. The next problem is how you will use it.
Ah, very good Ordo! I'll go ahead and use my paste. I have a high heat tolerance so I don't think I'll have a problem.
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