In Chinese cooking Blackbeans, Salted Blackbeans or Douchi ( 豆豉 ) are the fermented and salted black soybean, and they are most widely used for making black bean sauce dishes. They have a sharp, pungent, smell and the taste is salty and somewhat bitter. They are the oldest food made from the soybean and their use has been dated as far back as 165 BC, after being found in the excavation of a sealed tomb in central China. Blackbeans are only used in a small amount and only as a flavouring due to their saltiness.
Some common dishes made with Blackbeans are steamed spare ribs with fermented black beans and chili pepper and today’s Masterclass recipe Beef in Blackbean sauce.
My Top Tip – Add splashes of water or vegetable stock occasionally while stir frying – this will produce steam helping to quickly cook the vegetables and prevents sticking.
Beef in Black Bean Sauce serves 4
750 gr quality Rump Steak
2 Carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips or julienne
2 large Onions, Peeled and cut into thin slices
1 Green Pepper, cut into slices
1 Red Pepper, cut into slices
75 ml neutral Oil for stir frying
50 gr Fermented Black Beans
3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 cm piece of Ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 small Red Chilli, seeds removed and very finely sliced
1 tablespoon quality Toasted Sesame Oil
For the marinade
3 tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Rice Wine or Dry Sherry
¼ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
1 Clove of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons Corn Flour, mixed with a little cold water
For the sauce
100 ml quality beef Stock
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar
1 tablespoon Corn Flour, mixed with a little cold water
Place the rump steak in the freezer for thirty minutes, this firms up the beef making it easier to slice thinly. On a secure board slice the beef with a sharp kitchen knife into thin strips and place into a glass bowl. Add the marinade ingredients, mix well to combine together and fully cover the steak strips.
Cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of two hours. Meanwhile, prepare the black beans by first rinsing thoroughly in cold water then soaking in fresh water for around half an hour, changing the water once. Drain thoroughly, chop finely and set aside.
When ready to cook, drain the meat from the marinade pouring any remaining marinade into a small, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the sauce ingredients to the marinade and heat gently to thicken, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps forming. Heat the oil in the wok until smoking and carefully add the meat. Stir fry until cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on to some kitchen paper
Heat a little more oil then stir fry onion over medium heat for five minutes before adding the carrots and peppers, continue cooking for a couple more minutes until they are just starting to go soft. Add the black beans and cook for two more minutes stirring continuously, be careful not to burn, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a further two minutes. Return the beef to the wok, strain the sauce through a fine sieve and add as well. Mix in the sesame oil and cook for one more minute stirring all the time to heat the beef through and serve immediately with egg fried rice or noodles.