Black Bean Sauce

As long as you see Chinese people, you can find black bean sauce anywhere in the world.  It has to be the most famous and distinctive Chinese cooking, and the smell too!  You can tell from miles away that this is “Black Bean Sauce” and I must be close to a Chinatown!  There is nothing beats the unique salt and spicy flavour of fermented black beans (dul see)

You can buy black bean in any Asian markets.  There are many brands but I like the one called “陽江薑鼓”. There are only three basic ingredients you need to make this sauce: Shallot, Garlic and Black Bean.  I usually make a big batch and keep it in the freezer so I can use it on demand.  It takes only a small tea-spoon to turn your blended, tasteless dish to a flavourful mouth-watering plate.

Black Bean Sauce ready for storage in freezer

Black Bean (陽江薑鼓)                          ½ bag

Shallot                                                        x2 chopped

Garlic                                                          ½ of whole garlic – chopped

Oil (peanut, corn or vegetable)          4 table spoons

Wash the black bean and let it soak in ½ cup of water for ten minutes.  Roughly chop the shallot and garlic.  Heat up the pot with four table spoons of oil in medium heat.  Saute the shallot and garlic till soften in low to medium heat for ten to fifteen minutes but do not burn.

Use the back of your cleaver to mash the re-hydrated black bean.  Add another ½ of cup of water and stir it into a thick paste.  Pour the black bean paste to the pot with shallot and garlic, add more water if needed.  Turn the heat down to medium low after you see the mixture starting to boil and cover it with a lid.  Let it simmer for at least ½ hour.  Take the lid off and turn the heat back to medium.  Reduce the remaining liquid to a thick paste – stir it often to avoid burning.  Turn off the heat when you see the consistency of the sauce is thick enough.  Store in freezer for future use.

Black Bean (陽江薑鼓)
Use only 1/2 a bag of black bean
Black bean in a bowl
Use the handle of a meat cleaver to mash the black bean
After you mash up the bean, add 1/2 cup of water. Add more if needed and mix it into a paste
Shallot and Garlic
Chopped Shallot and Garlic
Saute shallot and garlic under medium low heat
Add water to the black bean paste and mix well
Add the black bean and water mixture to the sauteed shallot and garlic
Simmer the black bean mixture in medium low heat after it starts boiling again. Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 1/2 an hour
undo the lid, turn the heat up to medium high to further reduce the liquid. Keep stirring to avoid burning
Black bean sauce – ready to use
This is an example of what you can do with the black bean sauce – 鼓汁排骨煲仔飯 – Pork baby back rib in black bean sauce rice, hot pot style. I make sure I make enough as left over for my lunch the next day!

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