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Posts Tagged ‘Black Bean Sauce’


Two of my most favorite Asian ingredients are black bean sauce and sesame oil! The flavors are comforting to me. I perused through the freezer and discovered that I had set aside some cut up chicken thighs, and it came to me to make this dish.

Ingredients
1/2 # boneless chicken thighs, cut up in chunks
3 TBS Sherry
dash of salt
2 tsp cornstarch
2 TBS water
1/3, + 3 TBS cup of low sodium chicken broth
2 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS black bean sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
3 TBS peanut oil
3 slices of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups thickly sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen peas

Take the chicken and in a bowl combine with 1 TBS sherry and the dash of salt.

Chicken, salt and sherry

Set aside. Next combine the cornstarch with the water, then add 1/3 cup of chicken broth, remaining sherry, soy sauce along with the black bean sauce and sesame oil.

Cornstarch mixture

Set aside. Add 2 TBS peanut oil to your wok and heat until hot.

Oil is hot in the wok

Add the chicken

Chicken starts to cook

and stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink.

Chicken is cooked

Remove this from the wok. Add remaining peanut oil and heat until it is hot. While this is heating up, re-stir the cornstarch mixture so that it is ready to use.

Re-stir the cornstarch mixture

When the oil is hot add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for about one minute.

Garlic and ginger being stir fried

Add in the mushrooms and peas and stir fry for about one minute

Add the mushrooms and peas

and then add the remaining chicken broth.

Add the remaining broth

Next add in the cornstarch mixture slowly.

Add the cornstarch mixture

Add back the chicken and heat through.

Let the liquid thicken by cooking

The sauce thickens

Serve this over steaming hot jasmine rice.

Dinner is served!

I hope that you enjoy the subtle, savory flavors of this dish!

Savor the flavors and enjoy!

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I love black bean sauce, and as I will be using this as a component to the dinner I will be making tonight, I wanted to find out a bit more about this delicious sauce.

Black bean sauce is made from fermented soy beans. The use of fermented black beans goes way back to the Han Dynasty, which dates back to about 200 B.C. In 1972 a tomb was opened that dated back to 165 B.C. and fermented black beans were found in the tomb.

The black beans actually go through a lengthy process. The beans are cooked and then drained, and a specific mold is introduced. The beans then sit until they are covered by the mycelium, which is a mass of threadlike fibers. The the soybeans are soaked in a vat of salt water, ginger and other herbs. This is then allowed to age for about six months at which point they are allowed to dry.

These fermented black beans are then used to make the black bean sauce. I did find a recipe for black bean sauce however it uses canned black beans, not the fermented black beans. It is the fermentation process that lends to the flavor of the black bean sauce. Use of regular canned black beans will not taste the same.

I prefer to use the ready made, and to tell you the truth, I now have a healthy appreciation for what goes into that little jar of this tasty ingredient!

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Here is another recipe that I tried! Thank you Conor! This was soooo good that my husband and I ate the whole thing!

One Man's Meat

My love of Oriental cooking came from a period in my working life when I ate in Chinese restaurants at least once a week. I have spent over 30 years in advertising and during the late 80s and early 90s, I would dine out, often in excellent Chinese restaurants including  the Orchid Szechuan on Dublin’s Pembroke Road or in the Imperial on Wicklow Street (great for Dim Sum). In those days, it was perfectly normal enjoy a three course meal with wine (often lots of wine) for lunch on an almost daily basis. Those habits have been diminished by time, social convention and economic change but my love of oriental fare and cooking have not been eroded.

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