Other names: Chinese black beans, salty black beans, Glycine max
Fermented black beans, a Chinese specialty are actually fermented small black soybeans preserved in salt. The prepared beans are then packed in tins or plastic bags. They are quite salty and flavorful. Soak the beans for about 30 minutes in cold water and drain before using. Use them to flavor meat or fish dishes. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a year.
Don't confuse these soy beans with the black beans you use for making chili which are an entirely different bean. Fermented black beans are one of the key ingredients in black bean sauce which can be purchased but you can easily make your own (see recipes).