How to use doubanjiang (without a good Chinese supermarket)?
August 22, 2019 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Hey, it's the long-awaited (by me, anyway) follow-up to my 2012 question on where to buy the stuff. I finally did! Now, I want to crowdsource ideas for what to cook with it. What are your favorite recipes that use doubanjiang + ingredients I can find at a regular US grocery store?

Since said 2012 question, I moved to DC and no longer have access to a car. Yes, I know things like Zipcar exist but for now this is not a "how do I drive to the Great Wall Supermarket" question, this is an "it's a weeknight and I want to grab something at the grocery place across the street" question.

The place I bought it from is a tiny Japanese import market with a very sparse produce section. They have a good selection of rice and noodles but in terms of non-Japanese stuff they don't even have, like, rice cakes for stir fry or shaoxing wine. So basically what I'm working with is a handful of small US supermarkets with fairly sparse "Asian" aisles. I'm definitely going to make mapo tofu as soon as possible but what are some other ideas?

Also fun fact: since my 2012 question, I subsequently realized that the ingredient I actually wanted at the time was shacha sauce, and all I wanted to do with it is dip mantou in it, which is why I waited so long to ask this.
posted by capricorn to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Ji dan bing.
posted by zamboni at 9:49 AM on August 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

It’s excellent on a fried/seared whole fish. Like this.
posted by inevitability at 10:04 AM on August 22, 2019

It's a key ingredient in my favorite ramen broth. Seriously, I made this at least once a week all winter last year. You can find the other ingredients without a car in DC easily.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:30 AM on August 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I did this bo ssam thing the other day, substituting chicken for pork.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:40 AM on August 22, 2019

omg zamboni, I've always been told jianbing are impossible to make at home but this recipe actually looks feasible. i'm need it. thamk you. and late afternoon dreaming hotel I literally bought that exact brand of miso paste while I was at Hana Market picking up the doubanjiang so as soon as the weather cools down I know what I'm doing. I will try not to threadsit but this thread is already very Good.
posted by capricorn at 12:19 PM on August 22, 2019

I like frying green beans with it. Trick is to have a very hot wok/ walled-skillet with some high smoke point oil like grapeseed, wash green beans, throw into skillet while still slightly wet (creating steam), throw in a gloop of doubanjiang, toss with chopsticks+wooden spatula. Shlorp in a little rice wine while continuing to stir. Total cook time should be well under five minutes.
posted by porpoise at 1:01 PM on August 22, 2019

Yuxian eggplant
posted by astapasta24 at 3:25 PM on August 22, 2019

It's good mixed 1:1 with soy sauce as a very simple stir-fry sauce, which I use in a dish of stir-fried very firm pressed tofu with edamame pods (for about 350g of tofu and edamame together I usually use 1 Tbsp of soy sauce and 1 Tbsp of doubanjiang).
posted by andrewesque at 11:44 AM on August 23, 2019

Thinking about this; deao ban jeorng is basically "bean (likely black bean, fermented) a-certain-style paste."

It's umani, salty, spicey-hot.

You like any omelette combinations that could benefit from the flavour? Great.

You can beat in some of it into the scrambled eggs before you throw it on your heat source.

Or you can stir-fry it with omelette ingredients that benefit from cooking - mushrooms in butter in particular; asparagus seems to soak up a lot of oil, too.

Instead of breaking off the tough part of the asparagus stalk; sharpen a good 3" kitchen knife and shave off the bottom 1/3 of tough old thick-round asparagus. Learning how to sharpen knives is fun and doesn't need to be expensive (a decent stone can be had without breaking the bank).

I use a sharp knife and cut 1/2" from the bottom of the stalk (depending on how fresh it is, more if less fresh) of old asparagus to expose fresh (non-dehydrated and fibrous) cross-sectional stem material. Slip a fingernail between the green skin and the white middle pump,, pinch, and carefully peel as much green stuff as I can with that "shard." It should come off as a long thin triangle

Repeat until all around the stem.

Lots more high quality asparagus meat, although it might not be as flashy as the tops. I remember from when I used to care, that it detracted from the visuals (IG-ness, now, I guess) and would do this but keep doing the breaking off but after hand peeling. Save the snapped off (peeled) stems for chopping up for making fried rice (freeze in bulk, or add it to a side of the same meal - the latter can be kinda boring, though).


Just leaving XO Sauce here.

I used to make a year's supply+gifts from quality ingredients from scratch every pre-Christmas for a few years. It freezes and defrosts remarkably well.

Eventually, friends of family's friends would demand some from me. It ended up being a pain increasing batch sizes to meet demand while maintaining quality so I just said 'fuckit,Iquit.'

XO greenbeans > doubanjiang greenbeans; but requires higher skills to get the seafood relish to "stick" to the greenbeans instead of drifting to the bottom.
posted by porpoise at 9:29 PM on August 23, 2019

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