Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.


     2 teaspoons    vegetable oil

     1 Tablespoon   minced garlic

     1 Tablespoon   grated peeled fresh gingerroot

   1/3 cup minced   red bell pepper

     2 Tablespoons  fermented black beans (available at Oriental markets

                     and specialty foods shops), rinsed, drained well,

                     and crushed slightly

1 1/2 Tablespoons   medium-dry Sherry

    1 Tablespoon    soy sauce

  1/4 teaspoon      sugar

1 1/2 cups          chicken broth

    2 teaspoons     cornstarch


In a skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat and in it stir-fry

the garlic, the gingerroot, and the red bell pepper until the pepper is

softened. Add the beans and stir-fry the mixture for 2 minutes. Add the

Sherry and boil the mixture for 1 minute. Stir in the soy sauce, the

sugar, and the broth and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for

10 minutes. In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons cold

water, whisk it into the mixture, and simmer the sauce until it is

thickened slightly. Add black pepper to taste and serve the sauce over



Makes about 1 1/4 cups.



April 1990





Serve this intensely flavored curry -- made with Thai red curry paste

and coconut milk from the supermarket's Asian foods section -- over

steamed jasmine rice. A side salad of bean sprouts drizzled with Asian

salad dressing would be a cooling accompaniment; follow it with mango



     1 pound        top sirloin, cut crosswise into thin strips

     2 teaspoons    Thai red curry paste


     4 Tablespoons  Asian stir-fry oil or peanut oil

    12 ounces       asparagus, trimmed,

                     cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths (3 1/2 cups)


 1 1/2 cups         canned unsweetened coconut milk

   1/3 cup          fresh basil, chopped

                    lime wedges


Place beef and curry paste in medium bowl. Stir to coat beef thoroughly.

(Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over high heat. Add asparagus

and sauté until crisp-tender and beginning to char slightly, about

3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to bowl.


Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet. Add curry-coated beef in

single layer. Cook over high heat without stirring until bottom of beef

begins to char slightly, about 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and cook,

stirring often, until sauce is bubbling and slightly reduced, about

2 minutes. Add asparagus and heat through. Stir in basil. Squeeze lime

wedges over mixture and serve.


Makes 4 servings.


Bon Appétit

June 2002