Chinese Yellow Bean Sauce, or Hugan Jiang, a part of any complete Chinese pantry, is a ubiquitous puree made from soybeans that are left over from making soy sauce. Yellow bean sauce is sometimes called yellow bean paste, or fermented yellow soybean paste.
The fermented bean by-products of soy sauce are mixed with flour, salt, and sugar, water or soy sauce to make a basic paste that is sold in jars.
In addition, spices or other seasonings are added to make many different varieties. Both Hoi Sin Sauce and Guilin Chili Sauceare examples. Yellow bean sauce, or sauces based on it, is used in many Chinese dishes.
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There is no universal way or set of regulations governing exactly what ingredients might be used and the flavor depends on the region.
Yellow bean sauce is also sometimes called brown bean sauce, but both are made with the same beans.
Some bean sauce products are labeled simply bean sauce but others say “ground bean sauce,” (mocchi jiang) meaning that the beans have been mashed.
Keep in mind the leftover beans from soy sauce are already crushed, so different names like ground or crushed on labels don’t really signify a different type of sauce.
The basics are the same, and the taste really depends on what is added to the beans.
Although Chinese grocery stores sell bean sauce in cans, you will usually find them in jars. Once opened, the leftover bean sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months. If you buy bean sauce in a can, transfer the leftover sauce to a glass or plastic container before sealing.
Southeast Asian Yellow Bean Sauce
Although Chinese yellow bean sauce is sometimes called brown bean sauce, and goes by many other bewildering label names, there is another Southeast Asian version of yellow bean sauce also made from yellow soy beans but which has a paler color and is runnier in consistency. In Malaysia this is called tauchero and in Thailand it is called tao jiew.
Substitute for Chinese Yellow Bean Sauce
The differences between black bean sauce, brown bean sauce, yellow bean sauce, etc. are slight and you should be able to substitute whichever one you can find in your recipes without it changing the taste drastically.