Yellow soybean paste
|Yellow soybean paste|
|Literal meaning||yellow paste|
Yellow soybean paste is a fermented paste made from yellow soybeans, salt, and water. Yellow soybean paste is produced in China and is used primarily in Beijing cuisine and other cuisines of northern China.
Although it is made from yellow soybeans, the paste itself is not so much yellow as light to dark brown or even black in color.
Wheat flour, though not formerly used, is often used as an additional ingredient in the modern day, and potassium sorbate may be used as a preservative.
Yellow soybean paste is used most notably in the noodle dish called zhajiang mian ("fried sauce noodles"), in which the yellow soybean paste is fried together with ground pork, then poured over the top of thick wheat flour noodles.
Yellow soybean paste is widely available in China, as well as in Chinese grocery stores overseas, and comes in plastic packages, bottled or in 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.
In Thai cuisine, a variant of yellow soybean paste, often mixed with chilies, is also popular.