Beef and Peppers in Black Bean Sauce
Beef and sweet bell peppers are cooked with a savory black bean sauce in this Cantonese home cooked dish. Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.
1/2 pound beef, sirloin or flank steak is good
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large bell peppers (2 green or 1 green and 1 red)
2 teaspoons fermented black beans (increase to 1 tablespoon if desired)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
1. Cut the beef along the grain into thin strips, 1 1/2 - 2 inches long. Then cut the beef across the grain so that you have thin strips that are 1 1/2 - 2 inches long, 1/2 inch thick and 1/8 inch wide. Place the beef in a bowl and stir in the marinade ingredients. Marinate the beef for 30 minutes.
2. While the beef is marinating, prepare the vegetables. Cut the peppers into thin strips to match the beef. Rinse the fermented black beans in warm water to remove excess salt. Chop finely. In a small bowl, combine the beans with the chopped garlic and ginger.
3. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the 4 teaspoons water. Mix in with broth or stock.
4. Heat wok and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add 1/2 of the black bean, garlic and ginger mixture. Stir-fry briefly (about 30 seconds) and add the beef. Stir-fry until the beef is nearly cooked. Remove the beef from the wok.
5. Heat wok and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the remaining 1/2 of the black bean mixture. Stir-fry briefly (about 30 seconds) and add the bell pepper strips. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Give the stock and cornstarch/water mixture a quick restir and add into the wok. Add the sugar. Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired. (Add the pepper at this point if desired).
6. Add the beef back into the wok. Stir well until the sauce has thickened and the beef is cooked. Serve hot.
Yield: 2-4 Servings