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Enhance Recipes: 5 BEST Substitutes for Fermented Black Beans

Got a recipe calling for fermented black beans and you’re fresh out? You’re not alone.

These beans pack a punch in flavor, adding that umami kick we’re all craving in dishes.

Lucky for us, there’s a world of substitutes ready to save our stir-fries and stews.

No need to hit pause on your cooking vibes. We’ve sifted through pantries and spice racks to bring you the top 5 swap-outs.

From readily available pantry staples to unexpected stand-ins, we’re about to expand your kitchen repertoire.

And guess what? Your dishes might just taste better than the original. Ready to get creative with us?

what are fermented black beans

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fermented Black Beans

If you’re looking for a fermented black bean substitute, you have a few options.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsSubstitute Ratio
Make Your Fermented Black BeansIntense umami flavor with a slightly salty and earthy tasteN/A – Preparation required
Black Bean SauceThick sauce made from fermented black beans, savory and slightly sweetUse as a 1:1 substitution for fermented black beans
Tianmian SauceSweet and tangy sauce made from fermented soybeansUse as a 1:1 substitution for fermented black beans
Hoisin SauceThick and fragrant sauce with a blend of savory, sweet, and spicy flavorsUse as a 1:1 substitution for fermented black beans
Miso PasteFermented soybean paste with a rich, savory, and slightly sweet tasteAdjust quantity based on taste, start with 1 teaspoon for every 1 tablespoon of black beans

When looking to enhance your Asian dishes and substitute fermented black beans, consider the following alternatives:

1 – Make Your Fermented Black Beans

make your fermented black beans

While you can purchase fermented black beans at most Asian markets, they are easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients.

To make fermented black beans:

  • Start by sorting and rinsing the beans.
  • Combine the beans with water, salt, and a fermentation starter culture in a clean glass jar.
  • Seal the jar tightly and store it in a warm, dark place for 3-4 weeks.
  • Once the fermentation process is complete, transfer the beans to a clean jar and store them in the refrigerator.

Fermented black beans will keep for up to 6 months.

2 – Black Bean Sauce

black bean sauce

Black Bean Sauce is a popular condiment in Chinese cuisine.

It is made from fermented black soybeans and is often used as a dipping sauce or to add flavor to stir-fries.

The sauce has a salty, slightly sweet flavor and a thick, dark brown color.

While it is traditionally made with fermented black soybeans, many modern recipes call for the use of black bean paste, which is a shortcut ingredient that can be found in most Asian markets.

Black Bean Sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used in various dishes.

Try it as a dip for fried foods, or use it to add flavor to your favorite stir-fry recipe.

You can use black bean sauce as a 1:1 substitution for fermented black beans in your recipes, providing a similar depth of flavor.

3 – Tianmian Sauce

Tianmian sauce is a Chinese seasoning made from wheat flour and soybeans.

It adds flavor to dishes such as stir-fries, noodles, and rice.

Tianmian sauce is dark brown and has a thick, slightly sticky consistency.

It is often used as a dipping sauce or marinade and can also be used to thicken soups and stews.

Tianmian sauce is made by fermenting soybeans and wheat flour together.

The resulting paste is then cooked over high heat until it becomes thick and dark brown.

Tianmian sauce has a robust and savory flavor similar to Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.

It can be used as a 1:1 substitution for fermented black beans, offering a unique flavor and adding complexity to your Asian dishes.

4 – Hoisin Sauce

hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce is a staple of Chinese cuisine.

It is made from various ingredients, including soybeans, sweet potatoes, garlic, and chili peppers.

Hoisin sauce has a sweet and savory flavor that pairs well with meats and vegetables.

It is often used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or stir-fry sauce.

Hoisin sauce is also a popular ingredient in Vietnamese and Thai dishes.

If you’re looking for a delicious way to add some flavor to your next meal, give hoisin sauce a try.

It can be used as a substitute for fermented black beans in a 1:1 ratio. Hoisin sauce adds richness and depth to your dishes, particularly in stir-fries and marinades.

5 – Miso Paste

miso paste

Miso paste is a traditional Japanese fermented food made from soybeans, rice, barley, and other grains.

It has a salty, umami flavor and is used as a condiment or ingredient in many dishes.

Miso paste is high in protein and fiber and is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

It is also rich in probiotics, which can help to improve gut health.

Miso paste can be used in soups, stews, marinades, sauces, and dressings.

It is also a delicious way to add flavor to simple dishes like rice and vegetables.

While it doesn’t replicate the exact flavor of fermented black beans, miso paste can be used as a substitute by adjusting the quantity based on taste.

Start with 1 teaspoon of miso paste for every 1 tablespoon of fermented black beans.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fermented Black Beans

Searching for alternatives to fermented black beans? Your quest ends here! Discover the 5 best substitutes that seamlessly replace fermented black beans, adding a unique twist to your recipes. Explore these versatile options to enhance your culinary creations with flavors that rival the original.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Make Your Fermented Black Beans
  • Black Bean Sauce
  • Tianmian Sauce
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Miso Paste


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for fermented black beans
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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