another rough one

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.

Ezra out.

(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.)

22 Replies to “another rough one”

  1. Wow.. didn’t not expect it, but this video made me laugh, and cry.. and was quite mouth-watering too. Your determination and talent inspires me. Hope that you continue to have more good days than bad.. All of these films are just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey Ezra, I agree with Amy – I found the video quite emotional actually too! I loved the song at the end, will definitely be checking him out. Just one thing – I think you may have put a little typo at the very end with ‘Anothony’ but I could be wrong.

    Another great video from you 🙂 And you’re so *so* nearly there. From what I read when you have managed to ‘get out’ of a week of chemo, you were feeling good pretty quickly, so hopefully, even though the last one’s probably not going to be a pleasant experience physically, you’ll be back up with a sproing in your step in no time. 🙂

  3. oops.. right you are, Jenny.. I wasn’t real happy with the way vimeo resolved the contrast either.. so I’m cooking up a replacement version, with typo corrected. Thanks.

  4. So close!! You can probably see the end from here, if you stand on your toes.

    If you’re around, i’ll be there to give you a giant hug on easter sunday.
    Very much looking forward to seeing you and yours.

  5. brotherman-

    you. i owe you an ass-kicking for making me cry. it isn’t very manly of me, but I can’t help it.

    plus, making the FUCK out of that black bean sauce.


    Seriously, Ezra, it’s like you are punching me in my tender little heart, the way you live. I am so damn proud of you and proud to know you even just a little.



  6. good to have you back on line, will resend some recipes, and pix.
    still thinking about that great evening.
    kindest and what daniel says !

  7. i have always noticed that no matter how much the rest of my life is spinning out of control, all FEELS right with the world when i am in my kitchen. cooking. so much love to you and yours, ezra….xoxo

  8. Dood. You did it! And you know how much I love yer arse for carrying mine even when you’re sitting in that chair today. XOXO ~ A.

  9. The making things part and the moving forward part always makes me remember my weeks of radiation, several years ago. You’ll be on the other side of it soon.

  10. Compassion and strength, Ezra. You’re fucking nails. Last dance with the bitch and then you can leave this godforsaken hall and it’s shitty music and walk out into the daylight.

  11. Ezra, you are quite a human being, and I am completely amazed by your strength and tenacity. Your bikes, fenders, photos, videos, and your food are all completely beautiful, and it seems that everything that you do is executed with precision and artistry. You are an inspiration to myself and to others.

    I am curious about where you come up with some of the meals that you prepare? Do you have specific cookbooks that you like to use, or do you obtain recipes elsewhere, or just pull them out of thin air? One of the ways that my wife and I spend time together is by cooking our meal together, but sometimes it seems like we eat a lot of the same meals each week. In trying to find new inspiration for food and for cooking, I was wondering where your inspiration comes from?

    Thank you!

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