10 Essential Chinese Spices and Sauces

Black Bean and Garlic Sauce

When it comes to Chinese black bean and garlic sauce, a little goes a long way, thanks to the salty, bold flavor it's known for. Most amateur chefs prefer to purchase the pre-packaged variety because the preparation is quite lengthy. In fact, the black soybeans used in most recipes are fermented for about six months before they can be pureed and seasoned with other ingredients, like flour and ginger.

In general, only a spoonful or so of the sauce is necessary when preparing your favorite stir-fry recipe. Once opened, the contents of the can should be refrigerated to prevent spoilage.