Sichuan flavor base
30 minutes. Makes about 1 quart
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6¼ ounces) chili bean sauce (doubanjiang)
2 tablespoons (1¼ ounces) hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons (1/3 ounce) ground red Sichuan peppercorns
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3/8 ounce, or around 22 chiles) dried red chiles
1/2 cup (4 ounces) shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Chinese sweet soy sauce
3 tablespoons (1½ ounces) Chinkiang black vinegar
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3½ ounces) chile oil
2 1/2 tablespoons (1¼ ounces) prickly ash oil
Peanut oil, as needed
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) finely minced ginger
1/2 cup (3 ounces) finely minced garlic
1 1/3 cups (10½ ounces) chicken broth
Cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons each cornstarch and water combined)
3 1/2 tablespoons (1¼ ounces) fermented black beans
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons (5/8 ounce) sugar, or to taste
1. In the bowl of a blender, combine the chili bean sauce, hoisin sauce, Sichuan peppercorns, red chiles, shaoxing wine, sweet soy sauce, Chinkiang black vinegar, chile oil and prickly ash oil. Blend to a smooth paste.
2. In a large sauté pan heated over medium heat, add enough peanut oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the minced ginger and garlic. Sauté until aromatic. Add the mixture from the blender and stir well to combine with the garlic and ginger. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the raw flavor of the garlic and ginger is cooked out, about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Whisk in the slurry and cook until the broth is thickened.
4. Stir the thickened chicken broth and black beans into the sauté pan. Season with the white pepper and sugar. The base will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.
Protein 1 gram
Carbohydrates 2 grams
Fat 3 grams
Saturated fat 0
Sugar 1 gram
Sodium 188 mg
NOTE: Chili bean sauce, hoisin sauce, Sichuan peppercorns, shaoxing wine, sweet soy sauce, Chinkiang black vinegar, prickly ash oil and fermented black beans can be found at Chinese and most Asian markets.