Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Black Bean Stir Fry Sauce

I love black bean sauce. No, not like Mexican black beans, I mean the stir fry sauce made with salty fermented soybeans found in those Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants that are authentic, upscale or both. The recipe below is enough for one four-serving dinner, but I like to quadruple the recipe and freeze portions in little containers (or zip lock snack bags) so I can make a quick stir fry any time.

That's what I did the other night. I had some frozen chicken breasts and green beans, so I fried them up and threw in a frozen cup of black bean sauce. I had to thin out the sauce with a little more water and soy sauce.

Here is the recipe for one portion of the sauce:

2 tbsp peanut oil, 2 tbsp fermented black beans (rinsed and drained), 1 tbsp garlic (minced), 1/2 cup chicken or veg. broth (or sub. soy sauce for half the water), 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice wine, 1 tsp sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

  • Heat a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat (or, if making in bulk, use a saucepan).
  • Add the oil, the black beans and garlic. Stir-fry about 12 seconds.
  • Dissolve the corn starch in some of the stock then add it and the rest of the ingredients
  • Bring to a boil, sauce will thicken.
Makes about 3/4 cup sauce.

Notes & Substitutions: If I don't have rice wine, sherry or vermouth do the job. Fermented/Preserved Black Beans are sold in small jars and cans at most Vietnamese/Chinese Groceries but I've never managed to find them in the Korean supermarkets, even though the Korean soft tofu restaurant I go to includes them among their many pickled specialties. Sometimes I can only find them mixed chili peppers, which can be too spicy. However, if I get them without any chili peppers, it's not spicy enough and I add pepper flakes or chili sauce. Here is a place to buy them online, although I have never ordered from them: http://www.yesshopnow.com/item.asp?ItemNum=10172

1 comment:

Larraine said...

I liked your "rant" as well as the recipe for black bean sauce. I printed it out. I repeat: When do we get a dinner invitation? :)