Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Beef in Black Bean Sauce

Another one of those Chinese dishes, like Sweet & Sour, which I had never tasted before until I came to the UK. Can anyone confirm if this is as popular in the far east as it is here in the UK?

The trick to restaurant quality black bean sauce is.... wait for it .....

...NOT TO USE BLACK BEAN SAUCE! :))

Ok, what I really meant was that you shouldn't use black bean sauce bought off a supermarket shelf. Instead, I simply marinate the beef with oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and bits of chopped garlic and a few fermented black bean.
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Then, in a smoking hot wok, I fry some chopped garlic and a tsp of black beans, then add the beef and quickly fry it, adding the veg shortly before it becomes completely brown. Then add stock and cornflour to make up a sauce, and salt and/or sugar to taste. The better the quality of beef, the more tender it is. If you can afford it, use sirloin or fillet of beef.
PicAttic.com

So, in essence, I did not use "black bean sauce" at all, just a sauce with some black beans in it. Fermented black beans should always be used sparingly as the flavour is too strong and salty. Crushing too many into a sauce will also give it a bitter taste. Hence, I prefer just to just lightly flavour the stir fry dish with the beans.

12 comments:

Lannae said...

I think the fermented black beans are used in Dim Sum in southern China. I love black bean sauce! I make mine by using a couple table spoons of black beans in about 1/2 cup of wine and then I mash up the beans after they soak. The wine (heated well to boil off the alcohol) and mashed beans adds to the gravy's flavor. The gravy is mostly broth and cornstarch. I also like using poblano peppers or a bitter melon instead of bell peppers. I love this dish!

sc said...

my mum cooks it like you do too.. no black bean sauce but throw in the fremented black beans with other marination..looks good btw!

daphne said...

I think black bean sauce in general is too salty! So adding your own black beans is a good idea.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

use cornflour to ensure the beef stays tender..good tip..

ling239 said...

looks very similar to those steam pork rib in tim sum place....

JOjo said...

IT looks like the stir fried beef served in my school..Very yummy~

team bsg said...

big chinese restaurants as a norm seldom serve beef in KL but such fare is occassionally found in stalls and most usually found as beef noodle soup

tigerfish said...

Smoking hot wok - that's the key!
I prefer your homemade black bean sauce - just needs a few essential ingredients and nothing extra (or suspicious).

(P.S for the rice cooker chicken rice - it requires trial-n-error, I think? You add less water for cooking of the rice and before the rice cooks, add in the gravy -of the leftover chicken, that makes up that remaining amt of water which needs to cook the rice) or just don't add in so much gravy ? :P )

JeromeFo- 杰龙 said...

Lolx...
If you have the chance,
come to Letchworth Garden City
and try my chef's cookings.
"Beef in Black Bean Sauce" is always customers' fav choice.

Nic (KHKL) said...

looks good...i think the only differences between this and those served in restaurants is the addition of MSG and dark soy sauce...yours is healthier, of course!

oh, dace goes well with bittergourd! give it a try!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

totally agree with you. i've tried black bean sauce frm the bottle n each time i was disappointed. nothing beats the real black bean black beans.

haz, can i come over for din one night??

Tummythoz said...

About the sweet & sour thing, it's popular over here. Pork, prawns, chicken, crabs, fish u name it.