Even Faster Black Bean Beef…

Black Bean Beef (1 of 3)Back in 2011, I posted a 30 minute recipe for Beef in Black Bean Sauce. Back in 2011, not many of ye paid any attention to anything I cooked or posted about. Shame on you. But, now that you are older and, obviously, wiser (You are reading this are you not?), I am very happy to present you with a simpler, even faster to prepare, Beef in Black Bean Sauce.

Back in the day, I had a more elaborate ingredients list. Now, I am more of a purist (I didn’t have any ginger or chilli in the press). Here’s my very fancy ingredients shot. I didn’t do this stuff back in ’11. Since then, I have become more adept at standing on the kitchen table and managing to keep my feet out of the photographs.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce (1 of 13)

I was wearing slippers and had to cut them out of the shot.

As the girls have grown up, I was cooking for two (I’m doing more of that these days).

Ingredients (Clockwise from 1:00)

  • A tablespoon of cornflour (corn starch)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of fermented black beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons of peanut oil
  • 2 onions
  • .5 kilo of fine Irish sirloin steak

Throw the beef into the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients. Add water to the beans to soften the beans and to remove the salt.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce (2 of 13)

Don’t hang around. Pour boiling water on the beans.

Slice the onions and the garlic.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce (4 of 13)

Note my authentic Chinese chopper. I have owned it for over two decades. They are a great investment.

Take the steak out and slice it thinly. The time in the freezer will help with this. Discard the fat bits.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce (5 of 13)

That is quality beef. Look at the lovely colours.

Add the cornflour and half the oil to the beef and stir to combine.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce (6 of 13)

This helps get a nice soft beef with a bit of a crust when cooked.

Fry the onions in a wok until soft. Remove and reserve. Reheat the wok and add the beef in batches. We want to keep the wok very hot. When half the beef is cooked, add the garlic.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce (8 of 13)

Delicious beef getting the garlic treatment.

Add the soy sauce and rice wine. Tip the wok to allow the alcohol burn off.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce (9 of 13)

I love an action shot. This is an action shot!

Add the black beans and stir for a bit. Add back the onions and add a little water to get the sauce to the right consistency.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce (11 of 13)

More than enough for two. This represents 20 minutes work.

Serve the beef over some Thai Fragrant rice.

Black Bean Beef (2 of 3)

This is one of the easiest, quickest and tastiest Oriental meals one can cook.

If you are like the Wife and I, the dish will be prepared, cooked and eaten inside half an hour. It took longer to take the photo of the ingredients while standing on the kitchen table. That’s progress, of sorts, I suppose.

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Latest comments
  • Great tip about putting the beef in the freezer to firm up before slicing. I must remember that for some of my more slippery customers. This looks extremely tasty, but Himself would be up in arms if I served it without chilli, so I’d be adding that. BTW, I used your delish lamb ribs marinade on pork ribs yesterday (with only one minor change), and it was awarded the accolade of “when can we have this again, it’s bloody brilliant?”. The change was to use Ras al Hanout instead of cumin. Mainly because I didn’t have any cumin left…

  • This recipe might be simple and quick, but it let me get a glimpse of your awesome kitchen setup that can take on big or small recipes! That wok is great hovering over that blue flame and that giant cleaver made me envious!

  • Interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen black beans like that. I’ve only ever used a fermented black bean paste. Same thing I assume, just squished. A really lovely meal.

      • Especially fermented ones! I’ll have to look more carefully when I’m in an Asian market.

  • this is really somewhat spooky, Conor. I am not too keen on rice (the German in me will always prefer potatoes!) but last night I just felt a sort of craving for some nice Basmati Rice and since Jo shared some beef with me (his for a most delishes Curry) I quickly made your dish here MY WAY – always a very good nice quick quick meal – . Although it did not contain the black beans nor alcohol, I still enjoyed it and then to my surprise I see your posting just now – love the photographs (and the slipper story, pity they are edited out) 🙂 🙂

  • I’ve got countless slipper and/or shoe shots edited out, lol. What a delicious quick meal for you and the wife. I am assuming my fine Oregon sirloin would be a suitable substitute. 😉

  • Oh Lordie – I first read this as 5 Kg of meat and truly wondered where I was being totally stupid! This Cantonese recipe was probably the first I ate at a ‘Chinese’ restaurant so way back I don’t dare tell you and the first I prepped at home: may I say I recommend it to anyone unfamiliar with Chinese regional cuisine! So gentle and appetizing no tastebuds could possibly be offended 🙂 ! For those ‘new to the regime’ dry or even medium sherry will do fine! Conor: love the plate and love the plating!!

  • That looks great – have you ever tried fermenting black beans – this might be easier for me than trogging all the way to a shop.

  • Drat you, Bofin, I have to both take my hat off to you and scrap my nascent beef-with-black-beans post, as I don’t think I can top this. Looks lovely!

      • That’s a very kind thing to say, particularly as my photographic lighting has more to do with luck (on a good day) that judgement. I shall re-cook my version one of these days, I expect. Meanwhile yours will remain the benchmark. Lxxx

  • I’ve been cooking a version of this for years. Always delicious especially with a load of broccoli florets thrown in for good measure, oh yes and some red chilli too

  • I love the taste of fermented black beans. It might be my favorite taste in the Chinese repertoire. And that looks like just the right burner for wok cookery. Lucky you!

  • I’ll make a version of this soon. It looks great!
    I hadn’t realized until now that cornstarch is called cornflour outside of North America.
    Love the fire shot, that is pretty hard to get right (and you don’t have a lot of retries before the beef overcooks).

  • My timing must be perfect…I just bought a jar of the black beans and didn’t have the slightest idea what I would make with them as I’ve never tasted them. Thanks Conor. Oh, and your comment to Kathryn gave me a real laugh. 😀

      • I could never outshine you, Conor. 🙂

  • Love reading your posts! You’re funny and I can always use a bit of laughter in my day! I’m dying to make this recipe! I love oriental food and recently saw a black bean steak dish featured on a cooking show. I bought a jar of black bean sauce. Do you think this will be an acceptable substitute?

      • I guess it’s the fermenting that makes them so good? Maybe I’ll try both!

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