Old Bear's Recipe of the Month
August 1997

Black Bean Garlic Pasta

This recipe comes from the oriental food company Lee Kum Kee.  You can make your own Black Bean Garlic Sauce using fermented black beans (see recipe below) or you can purchase prepared Black Bean Garlic Sauce in jars from Lee Kum Kee at many

For the stir-fried pasta:

             1/2   pound                  beef or chicken, cut into strips

                1   Tablespoon         soy sauce

                1   teaspoon             corn starch

          3 1/2   Tablespoons       black bean garlic sauce (see below)

                3   Tablespoons       water

                2   Tablespoons       oil for stir frying

                2   ounces                bell peppers, cut into strips

              12   ounces                cooked pasta (linguini or spaghetti)

                2   ounces                chopped green onion

1.   Marinate the beef or chicken in a mixture of the soy sauce and  the cornstarch.

2.   In a bowl, mix the black bean garlic sauce with the water.

3.   Stir-fry the marinated beef or chicken in the oil until brown.  Add  the bell peppers and green onion and continue to stir fry.  Add the  cooked pasta.

4.   Add the black bean and garlic sauce mixture and stir to coat the  other ingredients.

Yield: 4 servings.

For the black bean and garlic sauce:

                2   Tablespoons       fermented black beans (*)

                2   clove                   garlic

                1   Tablespoon         salad oil

                1   cup                      chicken broth

                1   Tablespoon         dry sherry
          1   Tablespoon         cornstarch

                1   Tablespoon         water

             1/2   teaspoon             sesame oil

                                                salt to taste

1.   Rinse and drain fermented black beans and chop finely along with the  garlic cloves.  In a small pan, heat the salad oil and add the  bean and garlic mixture, stiring for about one minute.

2.   Add the chicken broth and dry sherry.  Simmer for two minutes.

3.   Blend the cornstarch and cold water, and slowly add to pan, stirring for about one minute until sauce bubbles and thickens.

4.   Stir sesame oil and add salt to taste.

Yield: about one cup. 

Unused sauce may be kept in the refrigerator.

Note(*):  Fermented black beans are small fermented beans preserved in salt.  They are sold in plastic bags or wax-paper wrapped containers in several styles including plain, flavored with garlic, or flavored with ginger.  Used in sauces in combination with fresh garlic and ginger, they have a very pungent flavor for their size.  They should be placed a sieve and rinsed with water before using.  Store beans in a tightly covered jar in a cool, dry place.  [Sunset Chinese Cookbook, 1990.]