Chinese Black Beans

Chinese Black Bean
Chinese Black Beans

I wouldn’t really call these “Black Beans”, but they are black and from the bean variety… so, there you go. Actually, these are Fermented Soya Beans and require a little work to get ready, but are a nice savory addition to Chinese dishes. I bought my first box of 豆豉 “Dou Chi”, while preparing Ginger Fish with a leader at my university here in Guangdong province.

If you want to buy authentic beans, look for this package:

Yang Jiang Dou Chi
Yang Jiang Dou Chi

How to prepare: Basically, consider these black beans as raw materials that have residue from the fermentation process. They are dirty and need a little washing. Rinse them through warm water and let them sit in a bowl while preparing the other ingredients for your dish.

Read about Japanese “Nattō” on wikipedia, which is a watery version and consumed as a breakfast food. Here are some highlights of the medicinal benefits:  Reducing the likelihood of various types of blood clots; Preventing or treating “amyloid-type” diseases such as Alzheimer’s[*2009]; Due to large amounts of vitamin K it can assist with bone formation and prevent osteoporosis; It may have a cholesterol-lowering affect[*2006]

Use Ginger in Dishes

Ginger is commonly used in Chinese cooking. You can find that and garlic everywhere in China! And its no mystery that it is good for your health. Slice it or chop it for added flavor with fried veges. A respected professor and leader in my university here suggested me to eat small cubes of it with warm milk in the morning to support the flow of “Qi” in the body and settle my stomach. Its better to eat (swallow) ginger earlier in the day, but you can use it with cooking at anytime of the day.

Here are some health benefits sourced from Wikipedia:

“Ginger may also decrease pain from arthritis, though studies have been inconsistent, and may have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease…Ginger compounds are active against a form of diarrhea which is the leading cause of infant death in developing countries…

Ginger has been found effective in multiple studies for treating nausea caused by seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy…. Ginger is a safe remedy for nausea relief during pregnancy…Tea brewed from ginger is a folk remedy for colds,… congestion, and coughs.”

Soy Sauce

Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce
Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce

The “Shu Ji” of my university here in China suggested the best brand for both Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil. Because she is the most powerful person in this highly respected university (Jinan Daxue) I’m willing to
take her advice.

Lee Kum Kee, which is a Cantonese translation of 李锦记, or in Mandarin “Li Jin Ji”. You can find it at your local Asian market or perhaps online. I’ll find a shop somewhere online and link it here later.

By the way, I’ve NEVER seen La Choy brand used in China. It’s probably just an American thing now… I know it wasn’t that yummy at stir fry night when I was growing up… Believe me, the brands of your seasoning matter.

Sesame Oil

Lee Kum Kee Sesame Oil
Lee Kum Kee Sesame Oil

The “Shu Ji” of my university here in China suggested the best brand for both Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce. Because she is the most powerful person in this highly respected university (Jinan Daxue) I’m willing to take her advice.

Lee Kum Kee, which is a Cantonese translation of 李锦记, or in Mandarin “Li Jin Ji”. You can find it at your local asian market or perhaps online. I’ll find a shop somewhere online and link it here later.

By the way, I’ve NEVER seen La Choy brand used in China. It’s probably just an American thing now… I know it wasn’t that yummy at stir fry night when I was growing up… Believe me, the brands of your seasoning matter.