• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
fooey

Black Beans, Salted and fermented

13 posts in this topic

I bought a package of salted black beans when I was at the Asian market yesterday.

When I have them, I can never figure out what to put them in. When I don't, I see ten recipes cross my screen that I want to make. Odd that.

Ingredients on the package say "salt, black beans", so I'm guessing not fermented black beans, just salted?

I need to dispatch a couple of pork loins soon, so ideas with pork would be great.


Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess that they were in fact fermented---the salt keeps the bad bacteria out and lets the good ones (some form of Lactobacillus, I think) stay.

Rinsed and used in the base of a stir-fried dish is always good. A tablespoon for a pound or so of main ingredient (chicken, tofu). I've used them in marinades for grilled meats, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One way you could think of them is as "chinese capers". Use where ever you want that little hit of salt & piquancy.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first thing I do is transfer them to a glass jar with a tight lid. They will last pretty much forever if they are decent to begin with. I pitched a jar that was 12 or more years old when I moved only because of space considerations- they still smelled and felt good. Decent to me means that they are pliable versus hard as pellets, and have a pungent yet pleasing odor. Some suggest rinsing or soaking them to remove excess saltiness. I taste one (over the sink for ejection purposes) to give me an idea about the salt level. A simple pork stir fry with garlic, ginger, and soy plus some chopped up beans sounds like a plan to me. Just watch the salt. I like some bitter greens either in the stir fry or alongside. You mentioned pork loin which I usually find a bit lean for stir fry. You could do the greens with the classic soy, garlic ginger, black bean and then serve the pork prepped with a quick sear & oven finish on top letting the juices mingle. I like the addition of shreds of green onion to finish it either way. You could even make a scallion, ginger, black bean oil to drizzle over the top of the roasted loin and simply steamed greens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always considered salted black beans to be the same as fermented black beans. My family chopped up a package of salted black beans, put 'em in a jar, covered them with peanut oil, and kept the jar in the fridge until all the beans were used up. Whenever a dish called for fermented black beans, we spooned out what we needed and dumped it in the wok. Very easy. My parents chopped up those beans with two big ol' cleavers. I use a Cuisinart. I discovered there can be one or two little pebbles mixed in with those beans, and if you put a stone in your Cuisinart it can catch on the blade and leave a big scratch all around the container. So check the beans for little rocks first.

When you're done with those pork loins--I've always liked Joyce Jue's recipe for Steamed Salmon with Black Bean Sauce:

http://www.massrecipes.com/recipes/99/11/salmonsteakswblackbeansau133419.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done something similar to that steamed salmon recipe, only instead of salmon steaks, I put a black bean/shredded ginger/shredded scallion mixture over and around a whole tilapia (scaled/cleaned/gutted, head and tail still on). Cut three deep crosswise gashes in each side of the fish; shove a bunch of the mixture in the gashes, a bunch of the rest in the cavity, and scatter the rest on top. Steam until your fishy is done, and enjoy. In fact, I think the ginger/black beans/scallions combo would work pretty well on any fish, whole, steaked, or filleted.

(I've not ever bothered soaking/rinsing the black beans--I like 'em pungent. And I'd use Shaoxing wine instead of dry vermouth, but the vermouth is probably a substitution for those who don't have a well-stocked Asian grocery available to them.)

I also like to put salted black beans in Ma Po Tofu. Plays really well with the layers of Szechuan peppercorn/dried red chile tingle/burn.

Storage: I tend to just shove the opened package in a ziploc bag, press out the excess air, seal it up, and put it in a cool dark cupboard. They seem to be immortal and indestructible. :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another preparation I enjoy is a stir fry of bitter melon with pork or beef and black beans. I like the way the bitter of the melon plays with the pungency of the black bean sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still haven't defrosted the loins, but want to thank everyone above for the ideas.

I'm glad I posted, as I would have never thought of them as "Asian capers". I would have used the whole bag. :laugh:


Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, salted black beans work unreasonably well with shellfish. Clams, Oysters, Cockles & the like. It's very common to see this preparation in Chinese restaurants.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They make a nice difference when a few are smashed up and mixed into fried rice during cooking.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got around to cooking out of Ross Dobson's Chinatown a few weeks ago, and one of the first dishes I made was this Eggplant, Cumin and Black Bean salad. It was great, although it could hold back a bit more on the black beans. I'd bought black beans for recipes from the Fuschia Dunlop cookbooks, and was happy to find some other uses for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully this is an interesting note; I was at a supermarket here in Beijing the other day and noticed that they had two kinds of beans, one especially for fish. I'm guessing that the fish ones are less salty?


Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      I was recently asked by a friend to give a talk to a group of around 30 first-year students in a local college - all girls. The students were allowed to present me with a range of topics to choose from. To my joy, No. 1 was food! They wanted to know what is different between western and Chinese food. Big topic!
       
      Anyway I did my best to explain, illustrate etc. I even gave each student a home made Scotch egg! Which amused them immensely.

      Later, my friend asked each of them to write out (in English) a recipe for their favourite Chinese dish. She has passed these on to me with permission to use them as I wish. I will post a few of the better / more interesting ones over the next few days.

      I have not edited their language, so please be tolerant and remember that for many of these students, English is their third or fourth language. Chinese isn't even their first!

      I have obscured some personal details.

      First up:

      Tomato, egg noodles.

      Time: 10 minutes
       
      Yield: 1 serving

      For the noodle:

      1 tomato
      2 egg
      5 spring onions

      For the sauce:
       
      1 teaspoon sesame oil
      1 tablespoon sugar
      ½ teaspoon salt

      Method:

      1. The pot boil water. At that same time you can do something else.

      2. Diced tomato. Egg into the bowl. add salt and sugar mixed. Onion cut section.

      3. Boiled noodles with water and cook for about 5 minutes.

      4. Heat wok put oil, add eggs, stir fry until cooked. Another pot, garlic stir fry the tomato.

      5. add some water to boil, add salt, soy sauce, add egg
       
      6. The tomato and egg sauce over noodle, spring onion sprinkled even better.
       


      More soon.
    • By zend
      I just bought these greens from the neighborhood Asian grocery. Had them once in China as a salad, and they tasted exceptional - a bit peppery like arugula, yet much more subtle and fresh, with hints of lemon.
      Store lady (non-Chinese) could not name them for me other than "Chinese greens".
      Any help identifying them is greatly appreciated
       

    • By liuzhou
      China's plan to cut meat consumption by 50%
       
      I wish them well, but can't see it happening. Meat eating is very much seen as a status symbol and, although most Chinese still follow a largely vegetable diet out of economic necessity, meat is still highly desirable among the new middle classes. The chances of them willingly giving it up, even by 50%, seems remote to me.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.