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4.97 from 29 votes

BEST Chinese Black Bean Sauce (aka Black Bean Garlic Sauce or Black Bean Paste)

An incredible depth of flavor, this sauce will work magic on any dish you add it to.  The the absolute BEST, you'll NEVER use store-bought again!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: condiment
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 21kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew


  • 3 tablespoons fermented black beans ,soaked in water about an hour then rinsed and drained (if you prefer a stronger and saltier flavor, use more beans)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce or sambal oelek for heat (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water


  • Mash soaked and drained fermented black beans with a fork and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or two until softened and very fragrant. Add the green onions and cook for another minute. Add the mashed beans and cook for another minute.
  • Add all remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and simmer for another minute or until thickened.
  • Let the black bean sauce cool and store in an airtight container (preferably glass). Will keep for up to 2 weeks.Makes a little more than a cup.  


For an additional touch of flavor (depending on what you're using it for) you can also add a 1/2 teaspoon or so of orange zest. Add it along with the broth and then proceed with the simmering.
Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 7mg | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg