Yellow soybean paste
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|Yellow soybean paste|
|Literal meaning||yellow paste|
Yellow soybean paste is a fermented paste made from yellow soybeans, salt, and water; wheat flour, though not formerly used, is often used as an additional ingredient in the modern day, and potassium sorbate may also be used as a preservative. Yellow soybean paste is produced in China and is used primarily in Beijing cuisine and other cuisines of northern China.
Commercial versions are available as a paste (in a jar or plastic container) or as a sauce (in a bottle). The sauce or paste can range in color from yellow to dark brown. The version in a jar often consists of split yellow soybeans in a watery sauce, rather than a mashed-up paste.
The name is because it is made from yellow soybeans, called huángdòu (黄豆) in Chinese, although it would seem that the complete name in Chinese should be huángdòu jiàng (黄豆酱; literally "yellow soybean paste"), the word dòu (豆) is generally not used when referring to this paste.
Yellow soybean paste is used most notably in the noodle dish called zhajiang mian, although outside Beijing, sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce is often used as a substitute. In this dish, the yellow soybean paste is fried together with ground pork, then poured over the top of thick wheat flour noodles. Unlike sweet bean sauce, yellow soybean paste is salty rather than sweet.
Other popular dishes prepared with yellow bean sauce are chicken and cashew nuts or tofu and cashew nuts.
Yellow soybean paste is widely available in China, as well as in Chinese grocery stores overseas, and comes in plastic packages, bottles or tins.
In recent years, a new form of yellow soybean paste, called "dry yellow soybean paste" (干黄酱, pinyin: gān huángjiàng; or 干酱, pinyin: gān jiàng), has been developed, and is widely available in plastic packages. Its texture is drier than that of regular yellow soybean paste (due to its lower water content), allowing for easier transportation and keeping. Dry yellow soybean paste is used in a similar manner as regular yellow soybean paste, but, when using the dry form, water is first added to dilute it, and then it is added to the dish; if it is added directly to a dish, the amount of water added to the dish should be adjusted accordingly.
- Doenjang (Korean-style soybean paste)
- Fermented bean paste
- List of fermented soy products
- Miso (Japanese-style soybean paste)