Fermented black beans mixed with traditional ingredients creates one of the most popular stir-fry sauces on a Chinese food menu. This pungent and earthy sauce is easy to make and will last in the refrigerator up to a month. It can also be frozen in small portions to easily be used for a quick stir-fry. Because of the saltiness of the beans, there is no need to add salt in the recipes where you use this sauce.
- 8 ounces dried fermented black beans : 0 piece
- vegetable oil : 1.5 cups
- Thai chiles, chopped : 4 piece
- shallot, minced : 1 medium
- (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated : 1 piece
- garlic, minced : 3 clove
- reduced-sodium tamari : 3 Tbsp
- Shaoxing rice wine : 2 Tbsp
- brown sugar : 1 tsp
- ground Sichuan pepper : 0.5 tsp
- Chinese five-spice powder : 0.5 tsp
- sesame oil : 1 tsp
Stages of cooking
Rinse black beans thoroughly and dry. Remove about 1/4 cup and set aside. Roughly chop the rest of the beans.
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add chiles, shallot, ginger, and garlic. Fry until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Do not let the ingredients burn. Reduce the heat if necessary. The objective is to slow cook the ingredients.
Add all the beans; both chopped and whole. Simmer, stirring often, until the beans are soft, about 2 minutes. Add tamari, rice wine, brown sugar, ground Sichuan pepper, and five spice. Simmer until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat; let cool, about 10 minutes.
Mix in sesame oil and cover. As the sauce rests, the beans will settle and the oil will float, creating a barrier which will protect it from mold. The sauce is ready to use or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.