Fermented black beans are small, black soybeans that have been preserved in salt. Also known as Chinese black beans or salty or salted black beans, they have a very strong, salty flavor and are generally soaked in warm water for 30 minutes before using. Fermented black beans are NOT also known as black bean sauce, although you can substitute the sauce for the beans in a pinch. The sauce is available Asian markets or in some supermarkets.
Plural: Fermented black beans
Season: available year-round
How to store: Refrigerate in a tightly covered container for up to 1 year. If the beans start to dry out, add a few drops of peanut oil.