To be honest I think you either like Black Bean or you don't. It's a strongish, salty flavouring and not overly sweet. Luckily, even Alexandria our 8 year old loves the flavourings also.
Black Bean, or Douchi as it's known, is made from fermenting and salting soyabeans. This process turns the beans black, soft and mostly dry. We however used a premade version in a jar, called Black Bean Paste (made by Lee Kum Kee) which is just as nice as soaking the beans yourself.
Beef in Black Bean Sauce
Points per serve: 4
500 grams lean beef strips
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 red capsicum, sliced
1/2 green capsicum sliced
300 grams button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons black bean paste or sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons cornflour
300 grams snow peas, trimmed and sliced on diagonal
Spray wok or large frying pan with cooking spray and cook half of the beef until just sealed. Remove to a plate, repeat with remaining beef strips.
Respray wok with cooking spray and add garlic, onion, carrot and broccoli. Stirfry for 3 - 5 minutes or until carrot is tender. Add capsicums and mushrooms. Stirfry for a further 2 - 3 minutes.
Return beef strips to pan along with black bean paste and sugar. Toss through sauce. Add combined cornflour and water, bring to the boil stirring until mixed through and slightly thickened. Add snowpeas and stir through.
(click here for a printable version of this recipe)