Never buy take-out again with this easy Chinese-style beef in black bean sauce recipe. The beef is tender, and the selection of stir-fried vegetables sells itself.
Those following JustSoYum will know we love cooking Chinese food at home. Just check out our chicken cashew, lemon chicken, and our family favourite honey chicken recipe to see what I mean.
But sadly, as inflation increases, so does the cost of ordering takeaway.
So today, I will show you how to make this incredibly popular beef in black bean sauce recipe at home and at a fraction of the cost of ordering takeaway.
And the best part about making this recipe is how easily it all comes together.
Ingredients you’ll need to make beef in black bean sauce
- Beef: One of the most critical elements of this recipe is how tender you can get your beef. And it all begins with your meat selection. I’ve chosen skirt steak because it’s flavourful, tender, juicy, cheap, and an excellent choice for stir-frying.
Some other great choices are flank, rib eye, or rump steak, which is good if you are looking for a cheaper option. However, it can be a slightly tougher cut.
Just keep in mind that we will be tenderising the meat anyway. So your choice of meat is entirely up to you. Skirt steak is just my recommendation.
- Baking Soda (bi-carb) & corn starch: We effectively tenderise the meat by adding baking soda and corn starch to beef. This will make it tender and juicy, which is a critical step when stir-frying beef.
- Black Bean: Black bean sauce is the key ingredient for this recipe. And you have two choices.
Dried fermented black beans: Whole black beans can be purchased in a packet from most Chinese or Asian grocers. You will need to grab the salted variety.
Ready-Made Black Bean Sauce: Black Bean Garlic Sauce comes in a jar and is more convenient than preparing dried fermented black beans.
You can grab a jar of Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce on Amazon, the exact brand I use.
I made beef in black bean sauce using both dried fermented black beans and black bean sauce, and in my opinion, I found no difference in flavours.
So go with the ready-made option. It will save you time and effort in the long run.
Stir-fry sauce: A not-so-nice-smelling array of dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper and beef stock. But I promise you, once it’s boiling away in your wok, the flavours will be heavenly.
Vegetables: What I love most about a stir-fry is that there are no rules to your choice of vegetables. I decided on a selection of:
- Garlic (only if using dried fermented black beans)
- Mushroom (adds an amazing depth of flavour, you got to try it)
- Red capsicum (bell pepper)
- Snow peas (for their hint of sweetness)
- Spring onion (for garnishing)
- Wok ready noodles
How to make the beef marinade?
Now you know what you need to make beef in black bean sauce at home. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
To begin, cut off any excess or thick lumps of fat from your cut of beef and remove the silver skin if any.
Fat equals flavour, guys! Only try to remove some of the thicker lumps of solid fat.
Using a sharpened knife, slice the beef at a 45-degree angle and across the grain, making the meat more tender and easier to chew.
Add the sliced beef to a large bowl, together with salt, white pepper, minced garlic, minced ginger, corn flour, dark soy sauce, and baking (bi-carb) soda.
Get your hands in there and mix together until well combined.
Pop the bowl in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. Overnight would allow more time for the marinate to penetrate the beef, giving more flavour.
Prepare your vegetables
Whether you have selected the same vegetables as me or gone with your own selection, make sure they are chopped to the appropriate size for stir-frying.
Remove the string on your snow peas, chop your onion lengthwise and thinly slice your mushrooms.
Set them aside in a large bowl.
How to make the sauce?
To make the sauce combine beef stock with dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a pinch of white pepper to taste.
Stir to combine and set aside.
Making the sauce is really simple!
The preparation is over. Now you’re ready to get this show on the road.
Pro tip: Have all of your ingredients to make beef in black bean sauce within arm’s length. This will prevent you from having to leave the wok at any point and avoid burning anything.
Sear the beef first
First, heat your wok on med-high for up to one minute, then add 2 to 2 ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Wait until you see your wok smoking, then add in your beef. Sear the meat in batches to avoid overcrowding.
Sear the meat for roughly 1 ½ minutes on all sides. Then set the beef aside on a sheet of paper towel.
Stir-fry the vegetables
Don’t wipe the wok clean. You want those delicious flavours the beef has left behind to combine with the rest of your ingredients.
Over med-high heat, add a further 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil back into the wok and wait for it to begin smoking.
Add your chopped onion and sliced mushrooms to the wok, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes stirring continuously until you notice the water being released from the mushrooms.
Then you can go ahead and add the rest of your vegetables.
Power Tip: If snow peas are used in your beef in black bean sauce, add those when the vegetables have softened. Snow peas cook quickly and will lose their sweetness if overdone.
Stir your vegetables continuously until slightly softened, then add 2 tablespoon of Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce.
Quickly stir the sauce through the vegetables, then have a taste. If you find you can’t taste the sauce, then a 1 extra tablespoon of sauce.
Please only add up to 3 tablespoon of sauce, or you will find it’s going to be far too salty.
The run home to the best-ever beef in black bean sauce
While continuing to stir, pour the sauce in. Use this time to deglaze your wok by scraping the bottom with a spatula.
This will combine all the flavours gathered at the bottom of your vegetables.
While waiting for the sauce to boil, combine 2 tablespoon corn flour with 1 tablespoon water and mix well until all the cornflour has dissolved.
Bring the sauce to the boil and slowly pour in the corn flour mixture.
Stir the sauce through the vegetables until it thickens.
Add your wok-ready noodles until they are well combined.
Finally, introduce the beef back into the work and toss the meat evenly through the vegetables and noodles, and the beef is cooked through.
Chop spring onion to garnish the top of your amazing beef in black bean sauce, and serve hot!
The spring onion will complement it beautifully with a light oniony flavour.
Why are you using noodles in beef and black bean sauce?
Why not? I thought to add noodles to the recipe because hardly anyone is doing it.
Yes, most have a side of either boiled or fried rice, but that’s more work.
Noodles add another level of flavour and, most importantly, convenience, less washing up, and it’s different.
Give it a try!
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Chinese-Style Beef in Black Bean Sauce with Noodles
- 800 g skirt steak (see recipe note 1)
- 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 teaspoon bi-carb soda (baking soda)
- 2 teaspoon corn flour (corn starch)
- 2 cups broccoli chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower chopped
- 1 cup carrot sliced
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
- 1 red onion
- 200 g white button mushrooms
- 3 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce see (recipe note 2)
- 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 packets wok-ready noodles
- ½ cup spring onion for garnishing
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 cup beef stock
- pinch white pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoon corn flour to thicken sauce
- 1 tablespoon water to thicken sauce
- Remove the silverskin and thick lumps of fat from the beef, if any. When cutting the meat, slice thinly and against the grain.
- To a bowl, add sliced beef, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, 2 teaspoon bicarb (baking soda), 1 teaspoon corn flour, and 2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce. Mix until well combined, then cover the bowl and set aside in the fridge for up to 1 hour. (overnight preferred).
- Prepare the vegetables and cut them to stir-fry size. Thinly slice the mushrooms and cut the onion lengthwise, then set them aside.
- To make the sauce combine 1 cup of beef stock with 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce and a pinch of white pepper to taste, stir to combine, then set it aside.
- Heat your wok to med-high until you begin to see it smoking, then add 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add in the beef, making sure to spread it out evenly. Sear for 45 seconds, then rotate the beef to sear the opposite side for a further 45 seconds. Remove the beef, and then set it aside. Sear the beef in batches so as to not overcrowd the wok.
- Over medium heat, add the onions and mushrooms to your wok and fry them until you begin to see the mushrooms lose their water. Add your vegetables, and turn the heat back to med-high. Stir the vegetables until they have slightly softened, then pour the sauce into your wok.
- Use this time to deglaze the bottom of the wok using your spatula and bring the sauce to a boil. Prepare 2 teaspoon of cornflour to 1 tablespoon of cold water in a separate bowl, add to the sauce and stir immediately until the sauce has thickened.
- Introduce the beef back into the wok with your wok-ready noodles, and stir to combine with the vegetables and the meat is cooked through.
- Serve immediately and garnish with spring onion if you would like.
- Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce
- Whole fermented black beans
Did you make my beef in black bean sauce recipe? Tag @justsoyum on Instagram or Facebook so we can find your masterpiece.
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