Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beef In Black Bean Sauce 豉汁牛肉 - A Makeover Special

Who would have guess something so unremarkable in the look department is behind one of the most ordered dishes in the world? Despite being a big fan of anything cooked with fermented black bean, I have never ordered beef in black bean sauce in a restaurant. No. 20, 28, 65 or 98 though very popular with certain group of diners but it also happens to be one of the most bastardized Cantonese dishes around. At last I made an effort to give this dish a long awaited makeover after some pestering from my friend D. The result is thin tender slices of beef smothered with a well balanced sauce that is neither too sweet nor gluggy. I hope you will give this a try and let me know what you think!

serves 4 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
600 g of beef rump
1 tbs of light soy
1 tbs of oyster sauce
1 tbs of Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp of sesame oil
dash of white pepper
250 g of snow peas, topped and tailed
1/2 an onion, sliced
3/4 cup of stock
corn flour solution
4 spring onions, cut into 3 cm lengths
1 red chili, sliced

for the sauce;
4 tbs of fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbs of oyster sauce
2 1/2 tbs of sugar
3 tbs of light soy
1 tsp of sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cm knob of ginger, chopped

Marinate beef with soy, oyster sauce, sesame oil and cooking wine and white pepper for at least 30 minutes.

To prepare the sauce - mash black beans with the back of a spoon then add in garlic, ginger and the seasonings.

Brown beef all over with a little oil over medium heat for around 10 minutes.

Rest beef for 10 minutes before cutting into thin slices. The beef will be briefly cooked in the sauce again so it is ok if the beef looks too rare for your liking at this stage.

Stir fry snow peas with a little oil on high heat briefly, season with salt and set aside.

Saute sliced onion with a little oil for 30 seconds then add in the sauce mixture. Cook for a minute before adding the stock.

Thicken the sauce a little with some corn flour solution, when the sauce starts to bubble throw in the spring onions and chili slices.

Return the beef to the pan and mix well. You may cook the beef to your desirable doneness but remember to do this over a very low flame so the beef will remain tender and juicy.

Ladle beef over the awaiting snow peas and serve immediately with plenty of steamed rice.


  1. Your version looks absolutely to die for. What a great makeover!

  2. The sauce sounds amazing but I'm switching that to chicken meat! hehe....

  3. Looks absolutely delicious! I like how you sear the beef first before returning it to the pan. Black bean sauce is so good with even chicken or pork.

  4. Harriet from carltonJune 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    This is my husband's favourite and I will certainly make this for him over the weekend!

  5. Awsome makeover! I am making lemon chicken and sweet and sour pork ribs using your recipe for dinner tonight so wish me luck!

  6. this looks so good hubby loves this sauce


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