Sunday, July 8, 2012

Especially the beans

In the June edition of Feast magazine there was a Brazilian recipe Feijoada (a shredded pork stew in a cast iron pot) where the picture looked so enticing I wanted to lick the page. The list of ingredients included pig’s tail and salt dried beef and smoked sausage. I’m all for exotic ingredients if I can get them, but it has to be with minimal e.g. zero effort. I’m not one for ordering from the butcher, or green grocer, if it’s on the self I’ll take it, if not we are playing a game of substitution. One day I’ll remake this stew and post my understudy version which was page licking good, anyway one of the main ingredients was black beans.
Having left over black beans I started thinking of what could become of them and of course black bean sauce was the natural option. Slight hiccup, black bean sauce uses fermented black beans not their sober cousin, oh well quick trip to the Asian grocers because I was having black bean sauce come hell or high water. The smell of the fermented beans was amazing, so pungent and salty. I’m sure that the other drivers were a pit perplexed as I sat sniffing the bag at the traffic lights. There are numerous recipes for black bean sauce on the internet so just combined the best bits of all of them to suit my taste.

Black bean sauce

·         250g fermented black beans (soaked in water for 20 mins)

·         5 cloves garlic finely diced

·         5cm knob ginger grated

·         2 red chillies finely chopped

·         2 tbsp. spoon soy sauce

·         2 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine

·         1 cup vegetable oil


·         Drain beans and slightly mash

·         Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium.

·         I cooked it for about 10 minutes till all the flavours were combined.

·         The oil will split from the sauce but that can be drained off when using sauce.

I used the sauce to cook some seafood in and also marinated some chicken and had that with broccoli noodles. With some of the un-fermented black beans I had soaked I added these to the rice on the seafood stir fry which added nicely to the texture. The stir fry was very fancy with spring onion cake and a marbled egg, perhaps i an watching too much Master Chef.

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