Black beans are one of the flavours of Chinese cuisine that gives it its exotic taste that can't be compared to anything else. Black beans are not originally black and is not like ordinary black beans. They are soy beans that have been fermented until they attain that strange but delicious colour and flavour. It is very salty and strong tasting so a little goes along way. It is usually mixed with other strong flavoured ingredients such as garlic and chillies.
Beef goes really well with black beans and I like it best mixed with the vibrant sweetness of peppers and onions. I used the more readily available black bean sauce that comes in a jar. Although the dish may be eaten with rice, I find that it really delicious served on a bed of stir fried rice vermicelli (bihon).
This recipe serves four.
400 gms. rice noodles, soaked in water
400 gms. sirloin steak, cut in strips
4 tsps. light soy sauce
2 tsps. corn flour
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsps. light soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp. of finely shredded ginger
1 onion, cut into chunks
1/2 red finger chilli, sliced diagonally
2 tbsps. black bean sauce
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1/2 each of a small sweet green and red pepper, cut into squares
1 1/2 tbsps. dry sherry or Chinese wine
2 tbsps. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsps. corn flour dispersed in 1 1/2 cups of water
1 tsp. sesame oil
cooking oil for stir frying
Season the beef strips with 2 tsps. light soy sauce, 2 tsps. corn flour and 1 tsp. of sesame oil.
Heat up 2 tbsps. of oil in a clean wok and stir fry the rice vermicelli. Add the 2 tsps. of light soy sauce. Stir fry. Add a little bit of water at a time (about 1/4 cup each time), letting the water evaporate while stir frying. Do not add too much water at any time because this will boil the noodles instead of frying it. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Try a bit of the noodles to check for doneness. The noodles should be tender but dry. Transfer to a serving plate.
Heat up a clean wok and pour in 2 tbsps. of oil. Stir fry the seasoned beef just until it changes colour. Do not overcook as it will still be cooked again. Set aside.