April 17th, 2011
So, rather than regale you with the bloody details of this last round, and it’s progression of side effects, I will tell you about black bean sauce.
Black bean sauce, at the VT house, (and I think I’ve mentioned this before) is sort of a standard quickie, clean out the fridge, type meal. Lunch or dinner. Your choice.
Shrimp, Chicken, Pork, or just veggies work fine. The veg that I find particularly appropriate for black bean sauce, are napa cabbage, baby bok choy, onions, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, snap peas are never bad.. but basically anything you’ve got left over in the fridge.
You can make it with canned black bean sauce, which is just fine! There’s a particularly good one out there.. (I’m having terrible deja vu.. have I done this post? oh well. If so I’ll boldly do it again, and if it turns out to be a repeat, I’ll chalk it up to chemo brain. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast). This is the stuff. Only don’t get it online, get it from your local asian grocer, for cents on the dollar.
If you’d like to make your own, you’ll need.
- Dried, fermented black beans (which are, in fact soy beans of some sort, not frijoles negros)
- Lots of garlic.
- Chicken stock.
- Soy sauce.
- Rice vinegar.
- (I add a little thai chile, though this is not traditional)
Peel and chop lots of garlic. You want a pile of garlic about the same size as your pile of black beans.
Roughly chop the black beans.
Saute all solid ingredients in pre heated oil until the garlic just begins to brown.
Add chicken stock.. amount here really doesn’t matter.. add TONS if you like.. you’re going to let it reduce until you’re left with pretty thick sauce.
Add a little soy and a little rice vinegar. Use your imagination on amounts.
Then, simple as that, just reduce it until you’ve got a pretty thick sauce.
Many recipes online call for corn starch at the end. I think corn starch is a little gross. let it thicken on its own.
Great. So you have a jar of black bean sauce. What now?
I’ll let you figure it out. Make a stir fry.. add some black bean sauce as you get towards the end. You may need to add a little water with it to loosen the whole affair up a bit. That’s all.
If you’ve got an under powered stove (i.e. No Wok burner.. so most of us), a nice trick is to slightly precook, and heat the protein, and then let the wok get hot again before proceeding. Add your veg, in the order that you’ve decided is right, and toss the protein back in.. It’s already warm, so it won’t cool the concoction down too much, and you’ll still have stir-fry instead of some sort of insipid stir-saute.
(for those interested in bloody details, Thursday was a pretty good day. Glen and I made a trip out to astoria to visit the build it green warehouse. Wow. A place and an organization all you NYC folks should know about. Build It Green. On our way out we stopped at BZ grill for some good gyros and fries.. another good stop for the cheap eats tour. After thursday, though, I took a bit of a turn. Spent fri and sat with good intentions, but without the energy to get out of bed.. Finally last night knowing that I’d never pull out of the slump unless I MADE something, I decided to shoot black bean sauce.. Not a very good video, but a thing made anyway! The side effects, of who even knows what at this point, are pretty brutal. Mouth sores. Sores all over me. Pain. Nausea. No appetite. Insomnia. No get up and go, etc.. Simply going through it at this point, though. One more bloody round to go and I don’t doubt that it’ll be the worst yet. But then! Sunshine.)