I used to use Chef Chow's Hot Bean Paste for a classic dish from college in the 80's, Hot Flaming Death, or sesame beef with oyster sauce (the sauce is 2 parts sesame seeds to 1 part each of Hot Bean Paste, Hoisin, and Oyster sauce).
However, Chef Chow's Hot Bean Paste disappeared in 2003 (as noted with dismay here in a few threads), after I'd been using it for 20 years. I'm looking for a good replacement, and so am trying various Sichuan doubanjiang (Hot Bean Paste)'s. My first attempt was Qiao Niang Fang Pixian Douban. Looks great, but really doesn't have the heat - Chef Chow's was mind-numbingly hot on a pound of beef and a few carrots with only a 1 tablespoon in the sauce (or less). In later years I would do a pound of beef with a ton of veggies, and use 2 T paste and it was HOT. With Qiao Niang Fang's I could dip my finger in the sauce and lick it with no problem.
I'm also looking to control the salt content - classic douban jiang is *very* salty, and oyster sauce is too. Suggestions on a brand or mixture I can use? Thanks!