Black bean sauce is a popular sauce used in Chinese cooking to flavor many stir fries and steamed dishes. This sauce is made with fermented black beans which are actually black soy beans, not your typical black beans. These beans have been dried and preserved with salt and sometimes other spices. To make a prepared black bean sauce like the one used in this recipe, the beans first need to soak and hydrate. Then they are added to a combination of other ingredients. Sauce ingredients usually consist of a liquid such as wine (sherry or shao hsing,) water, or broth. It may also contain an oil such as sesame, soybean, or hot chili oil; and other spices and flavorings such as garlic, ginger, green onion, dried peppers, rice vinegar and soy sauce.
Prepared black bean sauce, like the one used in this recipe, is easy to find and simple to use. It can usually be found in most local grocery stores in the ethnic section near the soy sauce and other Asian ingredients. The recipe below uses the Asian Gourmet brand black bean sauce. Lee Kum Kee also makes a version that is widely found and works well in this recipe.
Keep in mind when using prepared black bean sauce it usually needs to be mixed with a liquid such as wine, water, or broth. Also many first time users make the mistake of using too much of the sauce. Since this sauce is quite pungent and full of flavor, one to two tablespoons will go a long way. Try this quick and easy scallops in black bean sauce recipe and let me know what you think in the Chinese food forum found here. Enjoy!
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1 tbsp peanut oil
1 lb small bay scallops
1 tablespoon pre made black bean sauce
3 tbsp chicken broth
- Heat a wok on high. Once the wok is hot add the peanut oil and let it get hot.
- When the oil is hot add the scallops and stir fry them for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until they turn opaque in color and are cooked through. Take care not to overcook the scallops or they will be tough in the final dish.
- Next add in the pre made black bean sauce and mix it in thoroughly with the scallops.
- Once the sauce is mixed in, add the chicken broth and stir fry it for just one more minute. Then remove it from the heat and it is ready to serve. This is best served with fried rice and stir fried string beans with garlic. Makes 2 servings.