Chicken in Black Bean Sauce

In my last recipe I had mentioned that I’ve tried my hand in quite a bit of Chinese recipes lately. So after the Prawns with Sweet and Sour Chili sauce turned out well, I wanted to try another Chinese recipe. And the next one on my list was Chicken in Black Bean Sauce. I wouldn’t say I’ve tried this dish at restaurants quite often, but it’s a good try once in a while. This dish is not spicy and has a unique flavor.

Talking about black beans, it wasn’t a familiar ingredient to me a few years ago. Red kidney beans was the one I was more familiar with. It’s interesting to note that there are around 40,000 bean varieties in the world, but only a fraction are fit for human consumption. Wow…40,000! That’s quite a lot!

I used the Black Bean sauce (available at supermarkets) for this recipe but I also added some black beans into it in order to add some nice color contrast to the dish and also to make the recipe obvious. The dish has a light yellowish brown color with some green and black in it. The color of the dish is always something which attracts my attention and this one is definitely appealing!

Do you also think the color of the dish makes a difference in your thought bubbles for food? Would love to hear your comments on it  🙂

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Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Chicken – 800 g, sliced into long pieces

Vegetable oil – 2 tablespoons

Black Bean – Around half cup

Green Onion – A few stems cut into 1 cm long piece (around half a small bowl)

Chicken Stock – 1 cube, mixed with 1/4th cup hot water. Alternatively, you can also use

Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves, chopped

Ginger – Around 1 tablespoon, grated

Black Bean Sauce –  3 to 4 tablespoons

Shallots – 5 to 5, diced into cubes

Cornstarch or Cornflour – 2 tablespoons, mixed with 1/4th cup of water

Pepper – Ground, 1 to 2 teaspoons

Sugar – 2 teaspoons

Salt – to taste

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Step 1: Add the grated ginger and sugar to the chicken and mix well. Keep aside.

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Step 2: Boil the black beans for few minutes until they are soft but not mushy.  Keep aside.

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Step 3: Heat oil in a U shaped pan or wok. Add the garlic and onion and fry for 1 to 2 minutes.

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Step 4: Mix the cornstarch/cornflour mixture and black bean sauce together and add them along with the black beans.

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Step 5: Add the chicken and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes and mix until you have the desired consistency. Add the chicken stock.

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Step 6: Add the green onion, toss well for around 30 seconds. Taste for salt. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

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Shrimps with Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce

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Prawns/shrimps are one of my favorites! Back in my hometown, it’s quite expensive, so it was a delicacy back then for us. But in Singapore, it can be part of one’s everyday meal. It’s found in every wet market and super market. Recently I’ve been cooking Chinese quite a bit, in fact I posted the Chicken noodles recipe as well few weeks back. So the next one I wanted to try with shrimps.

I was quite satisfied after cooking this recipe…. the dish turned out to have a great color and can be cooked in minutes! I was so happy that the next day I tried another Chinese recipe ‘Chicken in black bean sauce’ (which I’ll post next)!

If you have guests coming home, I feel this is the perfect recipe (provided your guest(s) are not allergic to shrimps) as it just cannot go wrong and has a lovely color. Do try it and I’m sure your guests will love it! Let me know if you’ve added any special touch to the recipe, I would love to try them out too 🙂

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Serves: 2 to 3

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Shrimps – 450 g, peeled and deveined

Cooking oil – 2 tablespoons

Garlic – 5 to 6 cloves, chopped

Green onion (Scallion) – 5 to 6 small, cut into 1 inch size

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For the sauce:

Bottled chilli sauce – 2 tablespoons

Bottled tomato sauce – 1 to 2 tablespoons

Bottled lemon chilli sauce – 1 tablespoon

Sugar – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon

Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon

Cornflour or Cornstarch – 1 to 1.5 tablespoons mixed with around 1/2 cup of water

Salt – to taste

Mix all the above to make the sauce mixture.

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For the marinade:

Rice wine or Chinese cooking wine – 1.5 to 2 tablespoons

Sesame oil – 1 tablespoon

Minced ginger – 2 teaspoons

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Step 1: Mix all the marinade ingredients together to make the marinade mixture. Mix with the shrimps and marinade mixture and keep aside for around 10-15 minutes.

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Step 3: Heat oil in a wok or U shaped pan. Add garlic and the shrimps and fry for 1 to maximum 3 minutes until the shrimps develop a slight pinkish orange color.

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Step 4: Add the sauce mixture and cook until you get the desired thickness. Add salt for taste (as required).

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Step 5: Add the green onion. Stir (maximum for a minute) and transfer to a plate immediately. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

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A few tips:

  • If you don’t like it too spicy, use less amount of the chili sauce and more of the tomato sauce.
  • Add some vinegar if you like, before transferring from the wok/pan to the serving dish, as per your taste.

Chili Egg with Honey

Yesterday when I opened my refrigerator, I realized I needed to go grocery shopping! The only stuff left were some eggs, onion, red pepper and half pumpkin (other than some chillies, ginger and garlic) . It was a bit late already and by the time I would return from the store, it would be too late for dinner. The choice was either to cook egg or pumpkin….and I chose the egg 🙂

However, I didn’t want to prepare the boring egg recipes like egg curry or scrambled egg! After thinking for a while, chili egg seemed the best option! Chili egg is a dish of Indian Chinese cuisine. You might be wondering what is that? It’s simply the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. The cuisine is believed to have originated from the Chinese of Kolkata (back then known as Calcutta) and is very popular in India and in some South East Asian countries. Spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric are used in this cuisine, which are not much associated with traditional Chinese cooking. Hot chili, ginger, garlic are also frequently used in dishes.

I’ve made the dish quite a few times before. My mom used to prepare this dish too when I was a kid and it was one of my favorite back then! I would wait eagerly for dinner on those days.

But yesterday I wanted to give it a special touch, so I decided to add some honey with it; hence the recipe… “Chili Egg with Honey”. Chili gives the spicy flavor and honey soothes the taste… perfect! It was raining heavily outside and the spicy and sweet flavor seemed just the right combination for the weather.

I’m sure you too have your version of egg recipes… do let me know. I would love to try them out 🙂

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Serves: 3

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Egg – 6 medium, boiled and shell removed

Honey – 2 tablespoons

Cooking Oil

Onion – 2 large, sliced

Garlic – 4 to 5 medium cloves, chopped

Green or Red Chili – medium hot, 4-5 chopped or ground

Ginger – 5 cm, grated (around 1 to 2 teaspoons)

Red Pepper – 1 big, cut into long slices

Cornflour or Cornstarch – 3 tablespoons

Soya Sauce – 2 or 3 tablespoons

Vinegar – 1to 2 tablespoons

Salt – to taste

Step 1: Cut the boiled eggs horizontally into halves.

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Step 2: Mix the cornflour/cornstarch in 1/4th cups of water. Heat oil in a pan. Dip each piece of egg in the cornflour/cornstarch mixture and fry them for a minute or so on both sides. Transfer on to a plate with kitchen napkins so that the excess oil is soaked off. Place all the eggs on a serving dish.

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Step 3: Wash the pan or use another pan – heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes until it’s translucent. Make sure it doesn’t get burnt. Add the red pepper and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the chili and toss well.

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Step 4: Mix the soya sauce with rest of the cornflour/cornstarch mixture and add. Add in the honey. Cook for a minute or two. Add salt (as needed) and vinegar and mix well. Spoon the mixture on the eggs so that it covers evenly. Serve hot with noodles or rice.

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A few tips:

  • If ground chili is too spicy for you, you can add whole dried red chili (broken in halves) as well.
  • For cholesterol watchers, use only the whites of the egg and discard the yolk.
  • Use two color of peppers (red, yellow or green) to make your dish look more colorful.