Black Bean Chicken

"Black Bean Chicken is, perhaps, my favorite stir fry dish! The black beans give the chicken a wonderful nutty taste. Fast and easy to make, this can also be made with firm tofu so it's a delicious vegetarian dish. :) You can get fermented Chinese black beans in either sauce or whole bean form. This is an adapted recipe from Cooking Light, January 2004."
photo by rpgaymer photo by rpgaymer
photo by rpgaymer
photo by breezermom photo by breezermom
photo by FLKeysJen photo by FLKeysJen
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  • If using fermented beans in whole bean form, place the beans in a bowl and cover with warm water. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into thin, 1/4-inch strips. This can be done easier if the breasts are partially frozen, by the way, but it can be done while they’re thawed, as well. Do cut them into the strips rather than chunks, as black bean chicken tastes completely different if chunks are used (as I know from experience).
  • In a large, nonstick skillet or wok (ones that have a cover) over medium-high temperature, heat the oils together. Add the onion and garlic and sauté while stirring for 30 seconds to flavor the oil.
  • Add bean sauce or whole beans and sauté for 10 seconds.
  • Stir in the broth, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil.
  • Add the broccoli or edamame (I prefer the edamame, but that’s just because I’m not that fond of broccoli) and the chicken strips and bring to a boil again. Cover, reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken is done and no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and sherry.
  • Uncover the cooking vegetables and chicken and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture to the liquid in the pan. Allow to cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. (You don’t want lumps.).
  • Add toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onion and stir, cooking until green onion is just heated through, about 1 minute.
  • Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt (careful with the salt) and serve with rice or Asian noodles, and enjoy!
  • Note: if you’re using fermented beans in whole bean form, and you’ll want to soak only the amount called for in the recipe. Left over fermented black beans keep really well in the refrigerator for up to about 6 months.
  • Note #2: please know that cooking sherry and regular sherry are *not* the same! Cooking sherry contains added salt and sometimes other ingredients. Generally, it’s preferable – to me, at least - to have the control over your recipes by adding individual ingredients yourself.

Questions & Replies

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  1. FLKeysJen
    Black bean chicken lovers unite! I wanted to try your Cooking Light version and see how it compared to Fuchsia Dunlop's (Recipe #260313). I love the addition of the onions and veggies in yours...why waste the sauce on chicken alone...I used red bell pepper and snow peas which is what I had in the fridge. Using chicken breast works great but a quick marinade and stir frying, not using the boiling method here, has a better result. I didn't rinse the beans because I like the flavor, but definitely no salt is needed at the end because the soy sauce and beans make this quite salty. Also for some reason the cornstarch/wine mixture didn't work to thicken the sauce - I had to add additional cornstarch made into a thick paste with water. Thanks for sharing this version of one of my favorite Chinese dishes!
  2. rpgaymer
    This is a great recipe, and I don't even like Chinese food that much. The sauce is awesome. I served this over noodles, and and would definitely recommend that instead of rice. The ramen I used was perfectly coated in the sauce- yum. [Made & Reviewed for BEST OF 2012]
  3. breezermom
    Yummy, yummy!! I halved the recipe, but still added more veggies. I couldn't decide between edamame or broccoli, so I used 2 cups of broccoli and 1 cup of edamame. I served mine over rice, although next time I'll serve over Asian noodles. I used black bean sauce, and also used the boiling method. The edamame and broccoli were a perfect texture, and the chicken was flavorful and tender. I'll be enjoying this recipe often. Thanks for sharing! Made for Best of 2011 Tag game.


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