Black Bean Pepper Beef

Black Bean Pepper Beef

Beef and Bell Peppers always pair well when stir-fried together. Oyster sauce is often used to give the main ingredients a pleasing flavor lift but, here, Chinese Salted Black Beans are used to add a rich, umami depth, and the dish is rounded out with just a little Shaoxing Wine.  

The Basic Method for cooking Black Bean Pepper Beef

Beef strips marinating alongside strips of Bell Peppers
Beef strips marinating alongside strips of Bell Peppers

First, slice the beef into strips across the grain and then mix in a bowl with the soy sauce, baking soda and the 1 teaspoon of oil. Leave this to sit for 20 minutes or so to allow the Baking Soda to tenderize the beef. This added oil will help the pieces separate later during frying.

I am using a mix of red, yellow and orange bell peppers here but you can use all one sort, or a different mix. Personally, I avoid using the green variety unless the cooking time is very short and of low temperature as long cooking and very high temperatures ruin the color and the taste in my experience. It would probably work here, though, especially if you were to blanch the strips before further cooking.

Soaked and Chopped Salted Black Beans and a Shaoxing Wine Sauce Mix
Soaked and Chopped Salted Black Beans and a Shaoxing Wine Sauce Mix

Soak the black beans in just enough water to cover until they soften a little. Rinse them well and chop coarsely leaving some whole. Mix the water and cornstarch together to make a slurry and then add the wine and sugar. Set this aside to use a sauce later.

Deep-frying strips of Beef
Deep-frying strips of Beef

Bring a cup of oil to a shimmering heat in your wok over a moderate flame and fry the beef slices in two batches just until the pieces are nicely browned on the outside but still tender in the middle. A minute or so will suffice. Remove the meat to a bowl for now and then pour off all but a tablespoon of oil from the wok.

Finishing the Black Bean Pepper Beef
Finishing the Black Bean Pepper Beef

Finally, to finish your Black Bean Pepper Beef, turn up the flame and, when the oil is smoking hot, add the pepper slivers and flash-fry until the skin starts to blister a little. Now add back the beef along with the garlic and black beans. Stir and toss until the garlic is translucent and then pour in the sauce. Stir to thicken and clear and serve immediately.

Your Recipe Card:

Black Bean Pepper Beef

Black Bean Pepper Beef pairs Bell Peppers with tender Beef, adds umami depth with Chinese Salted Black Beans, and rounds the flavors out with Shaoxing Wine.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Beef, Bell Peppers, Chinese Salted Black Beans, Garlic, Shaoxing Wine
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. Beef;
  • 1 cup Mixed Bell Peppers sliced in thin julienne;
  • 2 tbsp. Garlic coarsely chopped;
  • 2 tbsp. Salted Black Beans;
  • ¼ cup Shaoxing Wine or other rice wine or dry Sherry;
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar;
  • 1 tbsp. Soy Sauce;
  • 1 tsp. Cooking Oil plus one cup for frying;
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda;
  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch.

Instructions

  • Slice the beef into thick julienne across the grain and then mix in a bowl with the soy sauce, baking soda and the 1 teaspoon of oil. Let sit for 20 minutes or so.
  • Soak the black beans in just enough water to cover until they soften a little, then rinse and chop them coarsely.
  • Mix the water and cornstarch together to make a slurry, add the wine and sugar, and set this aside to use a sauce later.
  • Heat a cup of oil over a moderate flame and fry the beef slices for a minute or so until just nicely browned.
  • Remove the meat to a bowl for now and then pour off all but a tablespoon of oil from the wok.
  • Turn up the flame and, when the oil is smoking hot, add the pepper slivers and flash-fry until the skin starts to blister a little.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!