While I’ve cooked with Chinese fermented black beans for years, I didn’t realized how versatile they were until I had about 2 pounds of them on hand, leftover from working on the Asian Market Shopper mobile app and the Asian Tofu cookbook.
The little beans are not the same as what you cook up for a pot of cuban black beans! In fact, they are slightly moist and soft, a preserved seasoning ingredient used in many southern Chinese (Cantonese) kitchens. Expect salty, pungent, and winy qualities from the beans.
Wanting to use them up, I started cooking with them, mining my Chinese cookbook collection for recipes and ideas. When I was through, I had enough information about fermented black beans (dou chi in Mandarin, dul see in Cantonese, dau/tau xi in Vietnamese) and a small collection of delectable recipes.
Food editor Russ Parsons of the Los Angeles Times agreed to an article on the beans. We polished it in March and it was published over the weekend under the title, “Chinese fermented black beans a versatile staple.”
Four recipes were included in the story: