Elaine would love to introduce another important Chinese seasonings–Douchi which is also called as fermented black beans or chinese black bean sauce. For more about different types of China common sauce and condiments, check Chinese Sauces.
I am received my mom’s package sending me lots of my favorite homemade seasonings. This time, I have douchi, fresh Sichuan green peppercorn(藤椒) and Sichuan style pickled vegetables. I have ignore the small bottom for around 2 weeks and extremely happy when I find them.
Among different Chinese cuisines, DouChi is quite popular. So it is not the most special fermented condiments in Sichuan cuisine comparing with Sichuan Doubanjiang. However, Dou-Chi is used as widely as Doubanjiang in Sichuan dishes including Mapo tofu and Twice-cooked pork. People in many southern provinces make douchi at home for example you may heard of Lao Ganma which is a famous seasoning brand from Guizhou province. Following is a picture of my Lao Ganma chili dou-chi oil. However I guess I need to save it for future.
Dou-chi or fermented black beans in English is mainly made with soy beans along with a complex processing of fermentation technology.I still remember my grand mom always made Dou-Chi by herself. But I guess the fermentation technology is quite difficult to control. You may spoil the whole process if fail to control any factors such as time, temperature or even container or wine used. Easy year, my mother makes around 2 large jars and all the relatives will receive some as gifts. And I am quite happy that she does not forget me, the daughter.
This version is douchi mixed with chili oil. I will post a clean douchi picture when I get a chance. Besides fermented black soy beans, there are also soy bean paste made with common soy beans which is a yellow color. I guess you have heard of it, its name is natto (水豆豉).
If you want a try with the flavor, you can search some in the shop nearby or search on the online shops. Black fermented soy beans is available at amazon, you can get it here: Chinese Douchi – Fermented Black Beans – 16 Oz Bag Each.
How to use Dou-chi?
Douchi in Chinese cooking is mainly used steamed fish dish, steamed ribs and many dressing salad. Besides, for many famous Sichuan dishes, douchi is called for example mapo tofu, twice cooked pork and my love- hot pot.