Doubanjiang or bean paste is a salty brown paste made from fermented broad beans or soybeans, salt, flours, and various spices. It exists in plain and spicy versions, with the latter containing red chili peppers and called chili bean paste. The main stream doubanjiang is made from fava or broad beans, while a certain of bean paste are produced from soybeans instead and may not be accepted by some Sichuanese.
Doubanjiang is a vital ingredient in many of the most famous Sichuanse dishes and is referred to as "the soul of Sichuanse cuisine". One particularly well known variety is called Pixian doubanjiang or Pixian chili broad bean paste, named after the town of Pixian in Sichuan of China. The uniqueness of Pixian doubanjiang is the way how the red chili pepper is added into the bean paste and thus the special taste of spicy. ... See Essential Guide to Doubanjiangs for a general guide and Pixian Doubanjiang for the Pixian specialty.