This Chinese Black Bean Chicken is another example of how authentic Chinese cooking is so much better than the local takeaway. I am, of course, speaking from an Irish person’s perspective. If you are lucky enough to live in a booming cosmopolitan city with a big Chinese population, chances are your local Chinese takeaway is of a high standard. But unfortunately here in Ireland, every dish in every Chinese restaurant seems to come with the same slightly viscous, slimy sauce which is flavoured (loosely) based on the dish to your order.
The fantastic thing about authentic Chinese cooking is that there may be a few hard-to-come-by ingredients but they usually have a long shelf life and are readily available online if there is no Asian supermarket near you. More and more of these ingredients are being stocked in regular supermarket too so keep an eye out!
Like any dish with a lot of ingredients, I think its best to get all the prep and chopping done before you start cooking and group the prepped ingredients together based on when they are to be added to the wok. Doing this makes Chinese food in particular incredibly easy and fast! If you’re hungry and/or in a rust, you could try to prep as you cook though I’d only suggest that to people who are good at multi-tasking and not prone to stress, if said people exist.
The Chinese prefer to use thighs than breasts and they bring not only the perfect texture to this black bean chicken, but also a stronger flavour that can stand up to the Chinese heavy-hitters in the dish. It’s also a lot harder to over cook thighs as they don’t tend to dry out so if you are in doubt about them being cooked, you can just leave them on for another few minutes and they’ll be fine.
- 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 7 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 30g ginger, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp fermented black beans/salted black beans, rinsed
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1-2 tbsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp sesame seed oil
- 2 tbsp shauxing wine
- 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp potato flour, or plain flour
- Chop your chicken into bitesize pieces. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Mix it up and set aside for an hour.
- Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat and add the red and green peppers. Stir fry for a minute or two before transferring to a bowl and setting aside until later.
- Heat another 3 tbsp of oil in the wok, then add the chicken pieces and the marinade.
- Stir fry for 5 minutes before adding the ginger and garlic.
- Stir fry for another minute or two until they become aromatic. Then add the rinsed black beans.
- Stir those through briefly before adding the chilli flakes.
- Mix in the chilli flakes briefly before returning the red and green peppers to the wok.
- Stir fry for another few minutes until you know the chicken is cooked and taste to adjust the seasoning if needs be.
- Add the spring onion and stir through briefly.
- Turn off the heat, drizzle over the sesame seed oil and serve atthetable with plenty of boiled basmati rice.