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Chinese Black Bean Sauce

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This is my gluten free Chinese Black Bean Sauce recipe for Asian cooking. I couldn’t live without it!

When I could not find a gluten free version of Asian black bean sauce I dug out this old recipe and just made it. I have no idea where the recipe came from but my best guess would be a glossy food magazine from before the days of the internet.

In those days Asian black bean sauce was a specialty ingredient that was difficult to find. Now you can buy a variety of black bean sauces, but every one I have seen contains wheat.

This homemade version takes less than ten minutes to make, the beans are the only special ingredient and I can easily buy them at an Asian market. The sauce keeps in the fridge for months as long as you always use a clean utensil. In my mind there really is no valid excuse not to make it.

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Gluten Free Chinese Black Bean Sauce

To make this gluten free Chinese Black Bean Sauce you need preserved Chinese black beans. These black soybeans are also called fermented black beans or salted black beans. They are fragrant and add a unique, pungent taste wherever they are used. If you are interested in knowing more about them read this post titled Chinese black beans.

A container of Chinese black beans, also called preserved beans.
Chinese Black Beans -photo credit Jim Little

The beans are salty so are typically rinsed then coarsely chopped before using in a recipe. They are most often combined with ginger and/or garlic in a recipe. If you look closely at the photo you can see that my black beans have ginger in them but that isn’t important. You can always adjust any recipe by adding more ginger or garlic to suit your taste.

I like the sauce with some texture but if you prefer a smoother sauce use a hand blender to puree it. Either way it has the desired pungent taste.

Chinese Black Bean Sauce – The Recipes

I use this Chinese Black Bean Sauce in my everyday vegetable stir-fry and Mongolian Pork Chops. I also use the black beans, rinsed and chopped, in these Hoisin Glazed Pork Ribs so you have a few ideas of what to do with them.

Let me know in the comments below what you made.


2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
2 Tbsp Chinese black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
½ cup GF chicken stock
1 Tbsp GF soy sauce
2 Tbsp Sherry
1 tsp sugar
1½ tsp cornstarch


Finely chop black beans. Set aside with garlic.
In a liquid measuring cup measure chicken stock, soy sauce, Sherry, sugar and cornstarch. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
Heat oil in medium saucepan oven medium-high heat,
Add black beans and garlic. Stir for about 30 seconds.
Pour liquid mixture into saucepan. Cook stirring continuously until sauce thickens, 2-4 minutes.
When cool pour into clean jar and label it. Keeps in refrigerator for several months. Makes about ¾ cup of sauce.


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