Sichuan cuisine is famous for different types of seasonings and spices. There is an old saying that red pepper and Sichuan peppercorn are hearts of Sichuan cuisine. People interested in Sichuan cuisine will feel it in the kitchen.
Elaine is going to introduce the most common and important seasoning : Doubanjiang or also known as broad bean paste.
Firstly the doubanjiang in sichuan cuisine is broad bean paste which uses broad bean as the main ingredients rather than soy bean chili paste.
And we are two types of doubanjiang quite popular in China now. One is homemade red oil doubanjiang; this is quite popular in the housewives’ kitchen. Following is a picture shows the two types of doubanjiang.
Only people in Sichuan province use broad bean to product this type of paste. And there are people in other provinces of China use soy beans to make their chili bean paste with a misleading name Doubangjiang too.
Among different producers, the most famous one is Pixian Doubanjiang (Pi Xian Dou Ban)which is produced by generations in Pixian, a small area in Sichuan province. Due to the excellent water sauces and ancestral recipe, Pixian Doubanjiang has its unique flavor and enjoy a high reputation all over China even some parts of the world.
Additionally to the famous Pixian Doubangjiang, common people in Sichuan province also make their own Doubanjiang at home. The homemade Doubanjiang has a simpler process and also nice taste. I get two in my family: my lovely mother and my excellent grand mom. They all make Doubanjiang at home every one year since the ready Doubanjiang can be kept over years. Generally homemade doubanjiang is red oil doubanjiang, which means oil is used in the process. Comparing with Pixian doubangjiang, homemade red oil usually gets a brighter color due to the oil used but the former one provides a stronger taste. I have searched on online and find Pi’xian Doubanjiang on amazon: Sichuan / Pixian / Pi Xian Broad Bean Paste 16OZ (454g)
If you ever tried the following dishes, I guess you understand the taste of doubanjiang.
Twice –cooked pork
Spicy Hot pot
Kung Pao chicken (宫保鸡丁)
dry fried eggplant
Dry fry green beans
Yuxiang Rou Si(Fish sauce pork)
Yuxiang Eggplant(Sichuan Eggplant)
Get a look of my Doubanjiang family．The big jar is made by myself this year!! And I have to wait around 4 months before enjoying it. You can also purchase red oil chili bean paste in supermarket or on amazon.
I list the Homemade Doubanjiang recipe in case you may want to try to make it at home or get a further understanding about how doubanjiang is made. Since the large jar of doubanjiang I paste above has been planed for the following two years, I am sorry that the step photos are not provided now. I will try to get some in near future.
- 100 oz broad bean
- 10 oz wheat flour
- 9oz salt
- 50 oz fresh chili pepper (choice the type according to your own reference)
- 10oz garlic chopped
- 5 tsp of mixed herb (Anise, Cinnamon, Bay leaf)
- 20 oz rapeseed oil
- Shelling broad bean, wash cleanly in water. Then put the broad bean in a container for 18 hours or longer to 24 hours.
- Then the broad bean will become a little bit sticky. Scatter beans then add salt, wheat flour and some water. Mix thoroughly!
- Put the container under the sun shine and remember to turn it over once every 24 hours. Wait for three months.
- Capped fresh pepper and dry the water on surface in the air. Chopped it with machine or by hand. (not too small, with the size
- around 3cms)
- Add chopped garlic, fresh pepper, mixed herbs into the beans dried for three months. Dry again under sun shine for several days until you can smell the flavor of garlic, pepper and herbs.
- Add rapeseed oil into the container and dry again until the color of oil becomes bright and red. If rapeseed oil is not available, please replay the oil with other vegetable seed oil.
- Save in a sealed container or an earthen jar(this is much better). It can be kept for several years if kept correctly. Then you get the soul of hot pot.