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Old 05-16-2006, 04:24 PM   #1
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Tian Mian Jiang sauce...what is??

I have seen Iron chef Kinichi use this IIRC and since I love his Schewan cooking style I wanted to figure out what this is. I googled it and seem to have a dissonance, some say it is plum sauce, some say it is made of fermented flour and others say it is a bean sauce... Maybe it is one of all three? I was under the impression that it was a spicy hot sauce but now I'm not sure. Or maybe it is just a slang term...? Help.

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Old 05-16-2006, 04:27 PM   #2
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JP, from what I've seen, it's made from a combination of soybean, plum, ginger, and garlic. It's more sweet than spicy so if you want to make it spicy, you'll have to add chili paste or another type of heat to it.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:31 PM   #3
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then can you just add say ginger, hoisen and garlic to say yellow bean sauce? I dont think I have seen T-m-j sauce sold separately.
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Old 08-27-2006, 10:36 PM   #4
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Hi. I lived in China 11 years and learned the language, and a lot of the cooking, mostly Northern style (heavier, savory flavors, lots of garlic and bean paste.)

Tian mian jiang means literally in Chinese "sweet flour paste." It is what is served in China with Peking Duck, not plum sauce, and not duck sauce. Good (read authentic) Chinese restaurants in the US serve it with Beijing Duck, too, but may call it plum sauce since that's what Americans are used to hearing. It doesn't have plums in it, though. Also, it's not spicy at all. It gives a deep, rich flavor to my favorite northern Chinese eggplant dish, which also has lots of garlic, a little sugar, and is finished with chopped coriander.

Tian mian jiang is a salty, savory paste made from ...give me a sec - I have a package of it I bought on a recent trip to China, I'm reading the ingredients as best I can...okay, in descending order: flour, water, salt, and a word with four components that I don't understand put together, breaks down like this: thick, shell, sour, sodium. Somebody who has studied cooking probably is jumping with their hand raised right now. Though there's no sugar listed in the ingredients, the fermented flour runny paste is remotely sweet. I guess that's why the word Sweet is in its name. Oh, mian means flour, and jiang means paste.

If I had to substitute for it, I'd use just a little miso, or any yellow bean paste that didn't have any extra flavorings like garlic or whatever in it, and I might add a pinch of sugar. The flavor is a bit similar - salty and pungent. Tian mian jiang's a bit runnier than bean pastes, so if you're substituting with something thick, you could loosen it with a tiny bit of water if necessary.

I do believe it is a northern flavoring; I've never seen or tasted it in southern areas in China. But I'm not the definitive authority on that, just telling you what I think I know! I'm going over to Tianjin again this Oct. I'll check with a friend who's from Hunan, a southern region with hot cooking. She's a great cook; she'll know. If you're still interested then....(if it's just a northern flavoring or used in the south.)

I have never seen tian mian jiang in America, but since I rarely live there, I can't say for sure whether or not it's available there; these days it probably is. I see you're in MD; when I'm in the States I live in Baltimore. Do you know that huge Asian grocery store out Rt. 50 heading west? That would be the place I'd look for it. I think it's called Hanareum...? Maybe at Rollings Road?
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Can'tStopCooking
Hi. I lived in China 11 years and learned the language, and a lot of the cooking, mostly Northern style (heavier, savory flavors, lots of garlic and bean paste.)

Tian mian jiang means literally in Chinese "sweet flour paste." It is what is served in China with Peking Duck, not plum sauce, and not duck sauce. Good (read authentic) Chinese restaurants in the US serve it with Beijing Duck, too, but may call it plum sauce since that's what Americans are used to hearing. It doesn't have plums in it, though. Also, it's not spicy at all. It gives a deep, rich flavor to my favorite northern Chinese eggplant dish, which also has lots of garlic, a little sugar, and is finished with chopped coriander.

Tian mian jiang is a salty, savory paste made from ...give me a sec - I have a package of it I bought on a recent trip to China, I'm reading the ingredients as best I can...okay, in descending order: flour, water, salt, and a word with four components that I don't understand put together, breaks down like this: thick, shell, sour, sodium. Somebody who has studied cooking probably is jumping with their hand raised right now. Though there's no sugar listed in the ingredients, the fermented flour runny paste is remotely sweet. I guess that's why the word Sweet is in its name. Oh, mian means flour, and jiang means paste.

If I had to substitute for it, I'd use just a little miso, or any yellow bean paste that didn't have any extra flavorings like garlic or whatever in it, and I might add a pinch of sugar. The flavor is a bit similar - salty and pungent. Tian mian jiang's a bit runnier than bean pastes, so if you're substituting with something thick, you could loosen it with a tiny bit of water if necessary.

I do believe it is a northern flavoring; I've never seen or tasted it in southern areas in China. But I'm not the definitive authority on that, just telling you what I think I know! I'm going over to Tianjin again this Oct. I'll check with a friend who's from Hunan, a southern region with hot cooking. She's a great cook; she'll know. If you're still interested then....(if it's just a northern flavoring or used in the south.)

I have never seen tian mian jiang in America, but since I rarely live there, I can't say for sure whether or not it's available there; these days it probably is. I see you're in MD; when I'm in the States I live in Baltimore. Do you know that huge Asian grocery store out Rt. 50 heading west? That would be the place I'd look for it. I think it's called Hanareum...? Maybe at Rollings Road?

GREAT post! I just learned something!
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:05 AM   #6
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Gee, thanks! I'm new here, so the encouragement is appreciated...(tentative smiley would go here, like the one in Yahoo, but there's nothing that correlates exactly in the list of smileys available on this site.)
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:00 PM   #7
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Okay thanks for the help. Here is one of the recipes that Chef Kenichi was preparing on Iron chef, this is a reverse engineered version:


the Darken Hollow - Fandom - Iron Chef - Reverse Engineered Recipes - Stir Fried Bamboo Shoots and Ground Meat

Im not sure if that is the only time I have seen him use it...
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