Few ingredients intrigue me like fermented black beans. The salty, rich, mushroomy, fish sauce flavored quality upgrade a simple stir fry into a mouth watering treat.
If we use cheese as an analogy, soy sauce is to American cheese is what fermented black soy beans are to a cave aged cheese. These beans turn your dish up a notch.
This dish is not shy in flavor and got a thumbs-up from my family. It’s a keeper that will show up again, perhaps some Friday night – very soon! ~ Chef Bruce
* Preparing the Black Beans *
First, prepare your black beans for use. Buy the fermented black beans in loose dry form. Place the beans in a glass jar. Pour Shaohsing Rice wine, or dry sherry, over the beans so all beans are submerged in the wine. Let sit at least one hour. That’s all you need to do and you can store the beans for months this way. NOTE: Ready-made Fermented black beans can also be purchased in the Asian Section of most markets.
* Pad Thai Rice Noodle with Shrimp in Black Bean Sauce *
Prep Time: 30 minutes * Cook time: 10 minutes * Servings: 2
4 ounces Pad Thai Rice Stick Noodles
1 tsp chili oil
2 Tblsp veg oil
8 raw shrimp (shelled, deveined; then marinated in 1 Tblsp Corn starch or tapioca flour and 1 Tblsp Sriracha or Korean fermented chili paste)
1 Tblsp chopped garlic
1 Tblsp chopped fresh ginger
Julienne Vegetables: 1/4 cup each of scallion (or fresh chives), carrot, fresh red peppers, and fresh mushrooms (use shiitake, maitake or oyster mushrooms)
1 Tblsp Fermented black soy beans – (prepare ahead of time as above, or purchase prepared in jars or pouches from your grocery Asian Foods section)
1 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp Shaohsing rice wine
1 Tblsp toasted sesame seeds
1 cup water or vegetable stock
- Place the rice noodles in medium stock pot. Pour hot tap water over and to cover the rice noodles, for about 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, drain in colander.
- Place wok on high flame.
- Add chili oil and veg oil, and get oil hot.
- Add the shrimp and cook each shrimp on both sides until you achieve brown color. You don’t want to cook the shrimp, just get some color
- Add the ginger, garlic, vegetables all at once and stir for 15 seconds on high flame
- Add the black beans, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame seeds, and stir for 15 seconds on high flame
- Add the rice stick noodles and water and stir and cook for one minute. Don’t worry that you added too much water. The rice stick noodles will absorb the water
* Plate, Serve and Enjoy! *
~ Tip: Try to keep several kinds of noodles and rices on your pantry, and basic veg in your fridge. That way, there is ALWAYS a meal base available.
Also have soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, hot sauce, and ginger on hand – we use them in a lot of our recipes. It may cost a bit to purchase up front, but they last a long time and are well worth the investment!
Cheers, and Happy Eating!