Also known as fermented or preserved black beans, these are used widely in Chinese cooking and add a rich “meaty” flavor and salty taste. Salted black beans are typically included in braised, steamed, or stir-fried dishes. They are made by steaming small black beans, then fermenting them with salt and spices, such as ginger. You’ll find them in Asian and especially Chinese markets in all kinds of packages, from plastic bags to tins to cardboard containers. The beans should feel soft and not dried out and hard. It’s best to store them in a jar that you can tightly close in the refrigerator, where they will last almost indefinitely.
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