Friday, February 02, 2007

Peppers Stir fried with Black Beans

This is a very simple dish that is quick to make, cheap and a perfect balance of flavours and textures. The green peppers have a slightly sourish unripe note, red pepper is sweeter and the salt from the black beans cuts through the sweetness and gives a rich, more balanced flavour. The peppers, once cooked, still retain a little bit of crunch but it is wrapped inside the silky flesh. They go well with most stir fries or plain boiled rice and are really lovely cold the next day. No prizes for guessing the original recipe came from Fuchsia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook.

Peppers and Black Bean Stir-fry

1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow pepper

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tbspn black fermented beans, rinsed

1/2 tspn clear rice vinegar


2 tbspn stock or water

1 tspn sesame oil

1 tbspn ground nut oil

Cut the peppers in half, discard the seeds and stems and cut into large squares. Heat the oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the peppers and stir fry for 5-6 minutes, until they are tender and their skins puckered and a little golden. Remove the peppers with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Return the wok to a high flame. Add the garlic and black beans and stir fry till fragrant. Return the peppers to the wok and season with the vinegar and salt to taste. When everything is sizzling and delicious, stir in the stock or water, and then, off the heat, the sesame oil.

Serve with white rice and another dish, in this case home cooked pork.


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