Sweet Bean Sauce
Sweet bean sauce (Chinese: tianmianjiang; also known as sweet bean paste, sweet soybean
paste, sweet flour sauce, or sweet noodle sauce) is a thick, dark brown- or black-colored Chinese sauce made from wheat flour
, mantou, and fermented yellow soybeans (the lees left over from the fermentation of soybeans to make soy sauce).Variations
There are many different types of sweet bean sauces depending on the different compositions and the different method of production, and each variation represents the unique local style of a particular region, and even within the same geographical region, different manufacturers produce different kinds of sweet bean sauce. For example, in northern China, the use of sugar is far less than in southern China in terms of the amount added, while the usage of mantou flour as the main ingredient is a much more common practice. Traditionally, in these regions, a good brand of sweet bean sauce is considered top quality when its sweet taste results not from the addition of sugar, but as a direct result of the fermentation of the starches contained in the sauce's ingredients.