Fermented black beans (tau see) are black soybeans that are steamed, salted, seasoned with spices such as gin-ger and orange peel and allowed to fer-ment. The fermented beans have a strong, rich flavor and lend their saltiness to any dish they are added to. They are good in braised, steamed, and stir-fried dishes. Crush or mash beans slightly to release more flavor or mix with garlic, fresh ginger, or chilies. After opening, repackage them in a glass jar or tightly sealed plastic container. They keep for a long time.
Douchi is especially used to flavor fish or stir-fried vegetables (particularly bitter melon and leaf vegetables). Some common dishes made with douchi are Steamed Spare ribs with Fermented Black Beans and Chili Pepper, and Braised Mud Carp with Fermented Black Beans Douchi is used only as a seasoning, and is not meant to be consumed in large quantities, being typically much more salty.
Douchi should not be confused with black turtle beans, a variety of common bean that is commonly used in the cuisines of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.