It goes without saying that take-out has been America’s primary food source since the pandemic hit more than a year ago. For me, it’s been a lot of Chinese, and typically I order the same thing. Recently, though, I decided to change my routine and order something I’d never had before — Chicken with Black Bean Sauce. I love black beans. I love chicken. And now I love Chicken with Black Bean Sauce so much, I decided to give it a go and make it myself.
Most all of the ingredients are ones you can find at your local grocery store, though you may need to hit the liquor store for sherry if you live in a town where wine isn’t sold in grocery stores. The only other special trip you’ll need to make is to your favorite Asian store to pick up some Douchi, the most popular seasoning in Chinese cuisine. It’s a type of fermented black beans commonly used for making black bean sauce dishes, such as stir-fries and other wok-cooked dishes. Bet you didn’t know you were eating it. The flavor is mild, but necessary to marry all the other ingredients in so many different Chinese dishes.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, making Chicken With Black Bean Sauce isn’t a whole lot different from any other stir-fry. And one of the nicest things is, you can use whatever leftover chicken you have on hand — boiled, rotisserie … I’ve even used leftover fried tenders from Zaxby’s.
Chicken With Black Bean Sauce
1 pound chicken thighs
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2-4 teaspoons regular soy sauce
¾ cup diced red bell pepper
¾ cup diced green bell pepper
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
3 tablespoons vegetable oil , (divided)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons Douchi (fermented black beans available at Asian grocers)
1 tablespoon dry sherry
½ tablespoon sesame oil
Cut the chicken into small bite pieces, around 1/2- inch thick. Soak the fermented beans in hot water for 15-30 minutes and rinse them a few times. Place the chicken in a bowl, marinate with low-sodium soy sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, and corn starch for 30 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook the green and red bell peppers, onions and broccoli until slightly cooked but still crisp. Remove vegetables from the wok and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok over high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and continue cooking until fragrant, 1-2 minutes longer.
Add black beans into the wok, stir fry until you can smell them, then return the peppers, onion and broccoli to the wok. Add sherry and stir to combine and cooking until the chicken is fully cooked. Adjust seasoning with salt or soy sauce or add spiciness by adding a pinch of dried pepper flakes, if you like a little heat. Serve in bowls with rice.