[Flavor Friday] Doubanjiang (Chinese Chili Paste-豆瓣醬)
What is Doubanjiang (Fermented bean paste/Chinese Chili Bean Paste)?
Doubanjian (豆瓣醬), also known as fermented bean paste, is made from fermented broad beans, soybeans, salt, flour, and chili peppers. It can be spicy though there are non-spicy recipes. Even with the non-spicy/mild doubanjiang, there’s still a slight kick to the paste. Doubanjian is a go-to paste for many Taiwanese and Chinese cuisines.
What does it taste like?
Doubanjian tastes salty and savory, with strong umami flavor and earthy undertones coming from its fermentation process. The ingredients used to make Doubanjiang are not too complicated: it is made out of fermented broad beans and spices like star anise, bay leaf, Sichuan pepper, black pepper, salt, fennel, ginger, and cinnamon.
How to use/where to find?
In most cases, you can find doubanjiang in the sauces section in Asian supermarkets and also online. Usually, it is packaged in a glass can. Different brands will have a slightly different recipe for their Doubanjiang, which makes each doubanjiang taste unique.
For cooking, people usually use Doubanjiang to add flavor and spiciness to dishes. It goes well with meat and vegetable stir-fried dishes, braised dishes, etc.
Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup, Doubanjian Stir Fry Meat, Sauteed Vermicelli with Minced Pork, Doubanjian Stir-fried fish, ma-po tofu.