Fermented Black Soy Beans
Douchi (roughly pronounced DOH-chi, with an i like the one in the word ‘shirt’) are salted and fermented black soy beans, found in many East Asian cuisines but most common in the food and cooking of China. They are also commonly called fermented black beans, or simply black beans, though it is important to note that they have nothing in common with the black bean commonly used in Central and South American cooking. Their pungent, powerful flavour makes a little bit go a long way, and they add a highly distinctive taste to dishes. Douchi are used on their own and as the basis for a number of sauces, most notably black bean sauce, which is simply a mixture of douchi, garlic and soy sauce.
Douchi have travelled around East and Southeast Asia over the millenia and have been adopted or adapted with variations in many cuisines.
Other names: dau si (Cantonese); daitokuji natto, hamanatto (Japanese); chunjang (Korean); seang (Khmer); tausi (Cebuan and Tagalog).