Black Bean Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Black Bean Sauce is an essential condiment for anyone who loves making authentic Chinese food at home. This black bean sauce recipe is made from a combination of broth, black beans, rice wine, and green onions. The black bean mixture is combined with garlic and ginger that has been sauteed in oil. Cornstarch helps to thicken the sauce. This homemade black bean sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can be used in stir-fries or tossed with noodles for a simple but flavorful mean. As this bean sauce is so easy to make and includes a number of ingredients you likely already have on hand, you'll want to find multiple recipes that use it. You can start with this recipe for Steamed Tofu with Black Bean Sauce

Salted black beans might not be the most attractive ingredient in your kitchen, but they deliver a classic sauce. As this was one of my mother’s favorite sauces, every time I smell black bean sauce, it brings me back to my old family kitchen in China.

Makes1 cup



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Taste and TextureSpiced, Tangy

Type of DishCondiments, Sauces


  • ½ cup Rich Homemade Broth or canned chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp salted black beans, rinsed and lightly mashed
  • 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp finely shredded ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1½ tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water


  1. To make the seasoning, combine the broth, black beans, wine, sugar, and green onion in a small bowl and mix well.

  2. Place a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Pour in the seasoning and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook until the sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. 

  3. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator; the sauce will keep for up to 1 week.

More Recipes from Martin Yan

Martin Yan is a cooking consultant, teacher, and cookbook author who is perhaps best known for his daily television show, Yan Can Cook.

Check out more of his recipes below:

  1. Sweet Plum Vinaigrette
  2. Sweet Vinegar Peanuts
  3. Fortune Noodle Meatball Soup
  4. Dry-Fried Green Beans
  5. Steamed Tofu with Black Bean Sauce
  6. Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing


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