Black Bean Paste



Black Bean paste is a Chinese condiment used in many a dish (hoisin sauce, stir fries, Asian BBQ, noodles), and a secret ingredient of those from Team Umami.  It’s bold and tangy and can bump the flavor factor of your sauces manyfold.

It can be really difficult to tell if Chinese condiments are gluten free, especially if there is the possibility of soy sauce (containing wheat) and it certainly doesn’t help if the ingredient list seems vague or incomplete.  I’ve been searching for GF Black Vinegar but I’m skeptical about what to believe so I never order it.  Black bean paste is another annoyingly gluteny product so last fall I finally made the leap and ordered the main ingredient to make my own—-fermented black beans.




Fermented black beans—-you can ferment anything!

These are actually black soy beans, cooked then inoculated with the same spores used in soy sauce and miso paste, then dried.  They are shelf stable, which is a good thing because I had to order about eight cups.


I ordered these online, and was hopeful about the ingredient list.









The paste can be pureed for a silky texture, or mash the beans with the back of a spoon for a more rustic look.



Spring is blowing in fast and strong, I suppose there is no fighting it so we might as well set the skis in storage mode and enjoy the next ride.


“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” 

e. e. cummings




GF Black Bean Paste

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


Whisk together until smooth:

1 1/2 teaspoons Cornstarch

1/3 cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock (it should be cool or the cornstarch will clump)


Sauté in a sauce pan:

2 Tablespoon Canola or Peanut Oil

3 Tablespoons Fermented Black Beans, rinsed and drained

2 Tablespoons Garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon Ginger, minced

After 1-2 minutes whisk in:

the Stock with Cornstarch

2 Tablespoons Rice Wine (or dry sherry)

1 Tablespoon Gluten Free Tamari

1 teaspoon Brown Sugar

Simmer until thick.  

Either mash the beans with the back side of a spoon, or puree everything with an immersion blender or in a food processor.








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