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Yellow soybean paste

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Title: Yellow soybean paste  
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Subject: Fermented bean paste, Miso, Zhajiangmian, Nam chim, Mamenori
Collection: Chinese Condiments, Fermented Foods, Soy Products, Soy-Based Foods
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Yellow soybean paste

Yellow soybean paste
Chinese 黄酱
Literal meaning yellow paste

Yellow soybean paste is a fermented paste made from yellow soybeans, salt, and water; wheat flour, though not formerly used, is often used as an additional ingredient in the modern day, and potassium sorbate may also be used as a preservative. Yellow soybean paste is produced in China and is used primarily in Beijing cuisine and other cuisines of northern China.

Description

Despite its name, the paste is not yellow in color; it ranges from light to dark brown, or even black. The name comes from the fact that it is made from yellow soybeans, called huángdòu (黄豆) in Chinese. Although it would seem that the complete name in Chinese should be huángdòu jiàng (黄豆酱; literally "yellow soybean paste"), the word dòu (豆) is generally not used when referring to this paste.

Yellow soybean paste is used most notably in the noodle dish called zhajiang mian. Though outside Beijing sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce are often used as substitutes. In this dish, the yellow soybean paste is fried together with ground pork, then poured over the top of thick wheat flour noodles. Unlike sweet bean sauce, yellow soybean paste is salty rather than sweet.

Availability

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.

Other varieties

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,

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