A jar of homemade gluten free Chinese Black Bean Sauce beside the original container of preserved beans.


This is my gluten free Chinese Black Bean Sauce recipe for Asian cooking. I couldn’t live without it!

When I first started cooking gluten free I couldn’t find a gluten free version of Asian black bean sauce so I dug out this old recipe and just made it. I have no idea where the recipe came from but my best guess would be a glossy food magazine from before the days of the internet. In those days Asian black bean sauce was a specialty ingredient that was difficult to find. Now you can buy a variety of black bean sauces, but every one I’ve seen contains wheat.

Measuring spoons and cups with all the ingredients to make Chinese Black Bean Sauce
Ingredients for Chinese Black Bean Sauce

This homemade version takes less than ten minutes to make (less time than another trip to the store hunting for a gluten free version). The fermented black beans are the only special ingredient and I can easily buy them at an Asian market. The sauce keeps in the fridge for months as long as you always use a clean utensil. In my mind there really is no valid excuse not to make it.

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The ingredients to make Chinese Black Bean Sauce and the finished sauce.

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Preserved Chinese Black Beans

To make this gluten free Chinese Black Bean Sauce you need preserved Chinese black beans. These black soybeans are also called fermented black beans or salted black beans. They are fragrant and add a unique, pungent taste wherever they are used. If you are interested in knowing more about them read my post titled Chinese black beans.

The beans are salty so are typically rinsed, I do this is a small strainer, then coarsely chopped before using. If you look closely at the photo you can see that my black beans have ginger in them. That is just how they come. Most recipes using the beans contain ginger and/or garlic so over time you can adjust your recipes for the amounts to suit your own taste.

Here’s how I use and store Chinese black beans.

Let me know in the comments below what you like to make with Chinese Black Bean Sauce.

More Recipes – Chinese Black Bean Sauce

If you like ‘winging it’ and wok cooking you’ll love the pungent flavour this sauce adds to your food. Here are some of the ways I use the beans and this Chinese Black Bean Sauce.

Click on the text on the image(s) to go to the recipe/blog post.

Chinese Black Bean Sauce

This is my gluten free Chinese Black Bean Sauce recipe for Asian cooking. I keep it in the fridge and couldn’t live without it!
Author: Cinde Little
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Homemade Sauces
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Chinese black bean sauce


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
  • 2 Tbsp Chinese black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • ½ cup gluten free chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sherry
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • tsp cornstarch


  • Rinse black beans, drain and finely chop. Set aside with garlic.
  • In a liquid measuring cup measure chicken stock, soy sauce, Sherry, sugar and cornstarch. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in medium saucepan oven medium-high heat,
  • Add black beans and garlic. Stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour liquid into saucepan. Cook stirring continuously until sauce thickens, 2-4 minutes.
  • When cool pour into clean jar and label it. Keeps in refrigerator for several months. Makes about ¾ cup of sauce.


Chunky or Smooth - I like the texture of the sauce after it's cooked. Puree with a hand blender if you prefer a smoother sauce.
STORING - This sauce will last months if you always use a clean utensil in the jar. If mold grows on your sauce someone snuck in that jar with a utensil that had touched something else.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  • Cecilia Teh says:

    Would this the suitable to make jajangmien (the Korean version). The Korean recipes all say chunjiang.

    • Cinde Little says:

      Hi Cecilia. I would say yes! Chunjiang is black bean paste (rather than a sauce) so you might want to make this recipe a bit thicker. Either boil the sauce a bit longer or simply thicken it with cornstarch. A paste is usually smooth in texture so I would not skip the step to puree this black bean sauce. It sounds delicious, happy cooking!

  • mavee125 says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Tried it the first time, and glad how it turned fantastic. I am happy that I got to get all my needed ingredients in Karman Foods. Cravings solved!

  • Hannah Flack says:

    Well I thought I had bought ground turkey but instead bought sausage!! How could I have done that!! And thank you for the brown rice link, and yup that was the one!! Anyway I did make this tonight but instead of turkey I used ground beef! It was all I had and I wanted to make this so bad. But guess what – it was fantastic!! I know it would have been healthier with the turkey but this was, as my husband said — give it two yums!!! Thanks again

    • Cinde Little says:

      Hi Hannah, sounds like a 2 Yums Up recipe. I love that! I always think it’s awesome when a mistake turns into a delicious new recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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