Douchi ( 豆豉 ) are semi-dried fermented and salted black soybeans used in Chinese cooking. The finished taste is both sweet and salty so the beans are used sparingly as a flavouring to dishes. Douchi are one of the oldest know products made from soybeans dating back over two thousand years. Douchi are used in Mapo tofu, steamed spare ribs with black beans and chillies and in black bean sauce sometimes referred to as black bean and garlic sauce. Black bean sauce is made from fermented black beans, garlic and soy sauce and can be homemade or commercially made. Similar fermented black beans are used in Japanese and Korean cooking.