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Homemade Black Bean Sauce

Black bean stir-fries are packed full of umami goodness, but some store-bought versions of the sauce can be full of hidden nasties. Recreate your takeaway favourites at home with this homemade black bean sauce that heroes clean, honest ingredients.


Homemade Black Bean Sauce

5 minutes
20 minutes
Makes 1 jar

¼ cup peanut oil

8 garlic cloves, finely grated

4cm (1.5”) piece ginger, peeled, finely grated

½ cup salted fermented black beans*

2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine*

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)

  • Step 1

    Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the black beans and stir to combine.

  • Step 2

    Add ½ cup of water to the wok along with the Shaoxing, soy and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the water has nearly evaporated.

  • Step 3

    Combine the cornflour with 2 teaspoons of water. Add to the wok and simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer sauce to a sterilised jar.

  • Notes

    – Salted fermented black beans come in vacuum packs or in cans. You can find them from an Asian grocery store or order them online.

    – Chinese Shaoxing wine is a type of cooking rice wine. It’s available in the Asian aisle of some major supermarkets or from an Asian grocery store. If you’d rather leave it out, simply replace with beef stock.

What is black bean sauce made of?

Homemade black bean sauce is full of only the good stuff, and our black bean sauce recipe has got no nasties. It features fermented black beans (which you can get from your Asian grocer), a whole lot of garlic, ginger, soy sauce and Chinese vinegar.

What can I use black bean sauce for?

Black bean sauce is a super versatile condiment and can be used for a range of different meals. It’s popular within Chinese cuisine, and works well with noodlesstir fries and a whole range of other Chinese recipes. We have a recipe for chicken with black bean sauce and beef in black bean if you wanted to start with those.

You can also use black bean sauce to season chickenbeef or pork as its intense savoury flavour works super well with just about everything!

What is a substitute for black bean sauce?

Black bean sauce is a difficult flavour to replicate, but if you can’t get your hands on some of the ingredients to make your own homemade black bean sauce, and you can’t find the jarred stuff in the supermarkets there are some substitutes you can use instead that have the same umami-sweet flavour profile.

Hoisin sauce has that same profile, as does miso paste, oyster sauce, light soy sauce or ketchup manis.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 4.7 out of 5
4.7 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Very good33%
January 12, 2023

This was fabulous!

I’ve made this twice now and both times it turned out just brilliant! Thanks for the recipe!

June 22, 2022


I made half a batch of the blackbean sauce as I wasn’t sure if we would like it. I got five tablespoons and loved the recipe. I only had normal soy but it was fine maybe due to me adding carrot and broccoli. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

June 15, 2022

A problem in measurements

Hey Marion I saw your Video, straight ordered fermented black beans and couldnt waint to finally make my own black bean sauce. Now, I stand before a problem. I am from europe and have no Idea how much grams a cup of fermented beans is supposed to be. I dont own measure cups, just one well-tried kitchenscale. The internet wasnt helpful on that problem eighter. I only found conversions on dry or cooked beans… but those guys are lighter than cooked but heavier than dry. Can you might add measurements in metric system?

Response from Marion's Kitchen

Thank you for your message. 1/4 cup is equivalent to 60g, so give that a try. Hope that helps!

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