Beef with Black Bean Sauce

Beef with black bean sauce is a classic and delicious combination that can be found on Chinese and Chinese American restaurant menus all across the United States. It’s a quick and easy dish to make, especially when you have a jar of black bean and garlic sauce on hand. While traditionally whole fermented black beans are used in this dish, the prepared sauce adds a level of convenience. So if you’re curious about black bean sauce but don’t want to commit to buying a big bag of fermented black beans, give this recipe a try!

What is Black Bean Sauce?

Chinese fermented black bean sauce is a unique and flavorful ingredient packed with salt and umami. It’s often described as a love-it-or-hate-it kind of flavor. The fermentation process of the black bean creates umami, the savory fifth taste that adds a depth of flavor to many dishes.

Using Fermented Black Bean Sauce

Whole fermented black beans are typically used when you want to highlight the individual flavor of the beans in a dish. The contrast of biting into a fermented black bean provides a burst of umami and salt that complements the richness of meat or the freshness of vegetables. Hunan and Cantonese cuisines often feature whole fermented black beans in their traditional dishes.

However, in saucy dishes where you want the flavor of the fermented black beans to be evenly distributed, using fermented black bean sauce from a jar works perfectly. It’s convenient, can be stored for a long time in the fridge, and adds a hidden boost of umami flavor to any dish without overpowering other ingredients.

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The Recipe

To make Beef with Black Bean Sauce, start by tenderizing the beef using a process called velveting. After rinsing the beef, marinate it with cornstarch, vegetable oil, oyster sauce, and Shaoxing wine. In a separate bowl, mix together stock, black bean garlic sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and white pepper to create the sauce.

Next, sear the beef in a hot wok until browned on both sides. Remove the beef from the wok and set it aside. In the same wok, stir-fry onions and bell peppers, then deglaze with Shaoxing wine. Add the sauce mixture to the wok and bring it to a simmer. Return the beef to the wok, along with any juices, and add snow peas. Thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry and simmer until it reaches your desired consistency. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Beef with black bean sauce

For the full recipe and more delicious dishes, check out Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ. Enjoy!