Chili Sauce with black bean paste
Posted by fourclankitchen on January 13, 2010
If you are like me, you crave the tongue buzz that comes from hot and spicy foods. But you have children or a husband who cannot deal with the hot stuff, this chili black bean sauce is for you. It can serve as a delectable accompaniment to east Asian foods and takes only a few minutes to prepare. A word of warning: the bird peppers pack a punch and can irritate your nose or skin, so wear gloves and open a window.
The basic prep is adapted from http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes. But, I could not find any black bean paste that did not have msg in it, so I settled for a black bean garlic sauce instead. The result is a lovely condiment, where the dominant taste is that of the salty fermented beans, balanced against the sweet, sour and heat of the sugar, vinegar and chilies. The original recipe which focuses on the chili flavor is also wonderful and worth making.
Chili Black Bean Sauce
8 oz. Thai fresh bird’s eye peppers, finely minced in the food processor (I prefer the red for their color, but can’t always find them. The green peppers or a combination will do just fine).
1/3 scant cup black bean-garlic sauce or fermented black beans (you have to rinse and coarsely chop the latter).
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tbs. rice wine
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tbs. sugar
In a small saucepan, heat oil and cook chilies and black beans over medium-low heat- 1 minute. Add rice wine and vinegar and simmer for another 3 min. Stir in the sugar. You’re done. The sauce can be stored in the fridge for several weeks. Prepare dishes such as Hunan chicken/shrimp with bean paste or other recipes at http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes.
Note: If you cannot find the fermented black beans or the bean sauce, substitute 2 tsp. salt. Made this way, the sauce is still very hot, but more delicate tasting.
Note: Never taste the fermented beans directly out of the bottle: both the taste and smell might put you off. This is a bit like fish sauce, not good by itself, but a fantastic flavor enhancer combined with other ingredients.