This is a dish commonly seen on the menus of chinese take-away restaurants and at the food court. I never order it because it's just something that can be easily prepared at home. Anyway, I find that they throw in too much onions and shallots, which will usually be left behind on my plate at the end of the meal. The version I made here uses black vinegar which gives it a slight tang and sweetness, and the sesame oil added at the end brings the whole dish together.
Stir-fried Beef in Black Bean Sauce
400g beef sirloin steak, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch ginger, grated
2 stalks spring onion, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1 cup broccoli/capsicum/sugar snap peas/string beans etc
1 tbsp light soy sauce
Dash of pepper
1/2 tbsp cornflour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp water
Sauce (combine in a bowl):
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp chinese black vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp black beans (from a jar)
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water
Combine beef with marinade ingredients and leave for 1/2 hour. Pour 1 tbsp vegetable oil into a pan/wok on high heat and fry the beef until browned. Drain off excess oil, remove and put aside.
With the remaining oil in the pan (~1 tbsp), add the ginger, then onions and garlic. Fry for a minute, then add vegetables (broccoli and string beans should be blanched first) and fry until almost cooked. Add black beans, then combined sauce ingredients and simmer briefly. Stir in the cornflour mixture and bring to a boil. Add the beef to the pan and toss in the sauce on high heat. Add more water if the sauce dries up. Sprinkle with black pepper and sesame oil, and toss through the spring onions. Remove from heat and transfer onto a serving plate. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Note: You can substitute the beef with sliced pork belly. Cook the whole pork belly in boiling salted water and let it simmer for 2 hours until tender. Remove and cool before cutting into thin slices. Then fry using the recipe above.