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Tenmenjan


shinju
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Not sure if I should be posting here on in China forum, but please help me out if you can. Whenever I use tenmenjan in my recipes I never know how to name this for people outside of Japan. I see this sometimes referred to as sweet miso paste, black bean paste, black bean sauce, brown bean sauce. It's made from soy beans right? What is the equivalent in Chinese sauces? I think by indicating it as black bean sauce it's confusing because it's not made from black beans.

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I was hoping someone else could help with this...

First off these are the characters for it in case this helps somebody 甜麵醬

I googled the characters and the English word sauce and on just the first page I found the following names:

sweet sauce

sweet bean sauce

sweet flour sauce

sweet noodle sauce

sweet ground bean sauce

sweet soy bean paste

sweet soy paste

hhmmm....? :hmmm:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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But, uh... isn't this obvious? Shinju, didn't you tell me you could read Japanese??

This one came up first when I googled tenmenjan in katakana.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%94%9C%E9%9D%A2%E9%86%A4

It says it is black miso made from wheat flour, salt, and a special malt.

甜麺醤(テンメンジャン、ティェンメンジャン)は中華料理の調味料の一種。中華甘みそ、麺醤とも呼ばれる。

小麦粉と塩を混ぜ特殊な麹を加えて醸造された黒い味噌。甘く(甜)小麦から作った(麺)味噌(醤)の意味である。

そのまま料理に添えて食べたり、肉や野菜を炒める時の隠し味として使うとよい。 回鍋肉、北京ダック、炸醤麺、麻婆豆腐、春餅などに使われる。

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I think one reason why it seems confusing is that western supermarkets often stock the spicier hoisin sauce (more southern Chinese?), but not tenmenjian (more Beijing/northern style?), while Japanese supermarkets are just the reverse! I worked in a Chinese grocery in my misspent youth, and hardly anybody bought "tenmenjian".

The two are similar enough to substitute in most cases, but not the same. They look similar, they just don't smell or taste quite the same.

Discussion of hoisin vs sweet noodle sauce

Hoisin in Japanese is "haisenjian", "kaisenjian", or "haishenjian"...if you can find it!

"Tenmenjan" - I think it's "tianmian jiang" in standard dialect, but don't know which dialect it's best known in outside China. You could try explaining that it's "like Peking Duck sauce"???

Other sauces:

Black bean sauce is "touchijian" in Japanese.

Brown bean sauce (same as ground bean sauce, written like this 蘑豉, but I don't know what it's known as in Japan) is like miso, but darker and more mellow - Ground bean sauce vs miso

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Not sure if I should be posting here on in China forum, but please help me out if you can.  Whenever I use tenmenjan in my recipes I never know how to name this for people outside of Japan.  I see this sometimes referred to as sweet miso paste, black bean paste, black bean sauce, brown bean sauce.  It's made from soy beans right?  What is the equivalent in Chinese sauces?  I think by indicating it as black bean sauce it's confusing because it's not made from black beans.

It's black "bean sauce" rather than "black bean" sauce. :biggrin: Maybe now that torakris has posted the kanji, you can try the Chinese forum, but I would guess you'll get as many translations for it as you already have.

Lee Kum Kee has the name in Chinese characters, then in katakana, at least in Japan. It might even be in romaji. If you're trying to direct people to what to buy, just steer them toward LKK.

But, uh... isn't this obvious? Shinju, didn't you tell me you could read Japanese??

This one came up first when I googled tenmenjan in katakana.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%94%9C%E9%9D%A2%E9%86%A4

It says it is black miso made from wheat flour, salt, and a special malt.

But she's asking what it's commonly called in English, so being able to read Japanese won't really help.

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But she's asking what it's commonly called in English, so being able to read Japanese won't really help.

Thank you all. Right, I can read in Japanese no problem, but do not know what it is called in English - or rather what would be the equivalent name for this in English.

If I tell people to look for black "bean paste" in Chinese markets, will they find it?

Thanks!

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Thank you Helen for your explanation. Hoisin and tenmenjan have similarities, but as you mentioned, they are not the same. Hoisin is spicier and I can also taste star anise and possibly cinnamon or some other spice not found in tenmenjan.

There are more Chinese markets in the US than Japanese and I was looking for English equivalent for tenmenjan

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Black bean paste is likely to be misinterpreted as fermented black bean paste. It's not the same. Denmenjan seems to be a sweetened miso with some added soy sauce.

There is a Youki product called Denmenjian or Tenmenjian which I keep in my refrigerator. I found it at Seattle's Uwajimaya, but it should be easily available at other Asian markets, as Youki distributes their products fairly widely.

I haven't tried, but I suspect a non-Chinese speaking American stranded in an Asian market could ask for a "slightly sweet Chinese-style miso, called something like tenmenjan or denmenjan" and be directed to something suitable.

But she's asking what it's commonly called in English, so being able to read Japanese won't really help.

Thank you all. Right, I can read in Japanese no problem, but do not know what it is called in English - or rather what would be the equivalent name for this in English.

If I tell people to look for black "bean paste" in Chinese markets, will they find it?

Thanks!

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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Upon further checking, I did find that tenmenjan is Beijing style as you indicated and the second kanji mien is sometimes written in traditional style (noodle). Still cannot find LKK sauce in the US similar to it (maybe I'm not looking in the right place).

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Lee Kum Kee has two sauces that might be tenmenjan--Black Bean Sauce and Ground Bean Sauce. The ground bean sauce looks too light to be tenmenjan, but the black bean sauce seems to be more liquidy than pastey. Neither have the exact kanji as tenmenjan, though. Maybe the next time your at a grocery store, you could check ingredient lists and choose the one that best matches tenmenjan. Or, if all else fails, substitute.

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I'm familiar with Lee Kum Kee's black bean sauce, and it's very different in aroma than denmenjang. Denmenjang is salted, fermented soybeans plus sugar.

As for black bean sauce, typically, the black beans are sold fermented and salted by themselves, then mashed and mixed with added ingredients like oil and perhaps garlic when used; it's only for convenience that they are sold in a prepared sauce form. Black bean sauce seems more common in the US than in Japan in my experience, but I don't go out to eat Chinese food very often in Japan, so it might just be the places I've been.

I would recommend that someone who cannot find denmenjang substitute hatchomiso and sugar, perhaps between a 4:1 and 3:1 ratio. If that taste doesn't quite match, it could be simmered with additional water, similar to nerimiso. Hatchomiso is relatively easy to find in US Japanese supermarkets, though it's less common than shiro or akamiso.

However, Youki's denmenjan works for me.

http://www.katagiri.com/ctlg/jpgf/a/a3801.htm has a tiny picture (it's on the right), and it's listed on http://www.katagiri.com/ctlg/list1.htm

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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You could try asking for "sweet bean paste". It comes in little blue and white cans, and its counterpart in the same colored cans , i.e. same brand, is sold as "hot bean paste." Sorry to have forgotten the brand, because I just pick it up by sight.

In my limited experience, I have seen Mainland Chinese from Taiwan and native Taiwanese both make and enjoy their version of ja jiang mein with THIS "sweet bean paste":

ground pork sauteed with garlic, then sweet bean paste, cook until done, soy sauce; pickled cucumbers/gherkins, Asian style, green onions chopped, over noodles.

You can ask in the Chinese forum about Sweet bean paste, also, when inquiring about tenmenjiang.

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You could try asking for "sweet bean paste". It comes in little blue and white cans, and its counterpart in the same colored cans , i.e. same brand, is sold as "hot bean paste." Sorry to have forgotten the brand, because I just pick it up by sight. Shape and size similar to the 6 oz tuna fish can.

In my limited experience, I have seen Mainland Chinese from Taiwan and native Taiwanese both make and enjoy their version of ja jiang mein with THIS "sweet bean paste":

ground pork sauteed with garlic, then sweet bean paste, cook until done, soy sauce; pickled cucumbers/gherkins, Asian style, green onions chopped, over noodles.

You can ask in the Chinese forum about Sweet bean paste, also, when inquiring about tenmenjiang.

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pardon me and my ignorance

i read the kanji / chinese characters as " tian mien jiang' - to mean literally sweet NOODLE sauce' as opposed to 'dou' which is bean..

i have no idea..post a picture or something?

ETA: ok! i just googled and wikied to add that tenmenjan is some sorta sweet/salty MISO thing?

wiki says that:

Sweet noodle sauce (simplified Chinese: 甜面酱; traditional Chinese: 甜麵醬; pinyin: tiánmiànjiàng; literally "sweet noodle paste"; also known as sweet bean sauce or sweet soybean paste) is a thick, dark brown- or black-colored Chinese sauce is made from wheat flour, sugar, salt, mantou, and ground fermented yellow soybeans (that is, what is left of the soybeans after the fermentation of soybeans into soy sauce).

(so its sweet bean sauce for noodles)!!

edited to add again that i damn hope im referring to whatever you;re talking about..

Edited by jedi_pocky (log)

.jedi pocky.

yum...

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