October 2006

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Search Il Forno with Google

My Online Status

Photo Albums


  • « # blogs that cook ? »

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  • Listed on BlogShares

  • Food & Drink Blog Top Sites
    Directory of Food/drink Blogs
    RankingBlogs.com :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites:

Blog powered by Typepad

« As simple as it gets: spaghetti aglio e olio | Main | Covered in chocolate from head to toe: coffee beans »

March 24, 2004



Hi -
My mom used to steam salmon with fermented black beans (plus some ginger, a little sugar, soy sauce etc...). She says that fermented black beans are very common in Cantonese cuisine!



i'm sorry, i just have to say that i burst into giggles when i read that "daniela will pop into the chicken". can you post a photo of this? (:


I tried making this for the first time last week, I did something very similar to what you describe. I used it for a beef stir fry but have eaten a soft shell crab with black bean once that still gets me drooling from time to time! This was actually more like a paste than a sauce. I m sure you ll find a thousand uses for this, we ll love to here from them!


Sharon and chloe: thanks for the tips the steamed fish and soft shelled crabs (if I ever find some here) sound great. I'll keep the tips in mind.

china: could you explain why what I wrote is funny? Not that I'm offended or anything, I'd just like to get the joke too :-)...


Alberto, you are reading my culinary mind (and in a very helpful manner, too). I have been thinking about both black bean sauces and spaghetti algio e olio for the last week or so and wondering in the first case, how on earth to cook them, and in the second case whether the garlic should be raw or cooked. Now I have a good idea about both - thank you! That packet of salted black beans will now move from the back of my cupboard to the countertop and get used soon.


Meg, happy to be of help! BTW the balck beans keep forever, at least in the fridge (never tried outside).


It's not Chinese, but in Japanese cuisine there is a filling for sushi rolls called Natto, which I believe is fermented soy beans - it's a quite slimy, porridge-like, fairly unappetising-looking beige mixture, and is *definitely* an aquired taste. It's nothing like I've ever tasted before, and despite being quite adventurous in my palate, I couldn't deal with this one! I'm sure if you type Natto into Google you'll get lots of information. I kind of get the picture it's like Vegemite is to Austrlians...unpalatable to everyone but them!

I think you may have intended to type "Daniela will pop into the KITCHEN" rather than into the Chicken.... :-) I believe that's what China was giggling about. It was very cute. :-)


Here's something:
(Yes, I forgot to mention, it sure is SMELLY stuff!!!)


i met another "bad guy" responsible for a most unlikely but delicious meal when i lived in mexico - "huitlacoche" is a black fungus that grows on/in sweet corn and most countries have spent fortunes to eradicate it... yet it is truly delicious eaten as a taco filling. it may not look very nice and the thought of stuffing your mouth with parasites might put you off, even when they're wrapped up in a tortilla, but i can assure you - you won't regret it!!!


hey alberto,
are the black beans you used dried? or in a paste/sauce?
fermented black beans are very commonly used in Chinese cuisine - mostly in the form of pastes though.
they go great with a great variety of stuff... braised ribs in black bean sauce; pork; beef; chicken; steamed fish (as someone has already mentioned) (most types of fish would probably work, we use it on white fish as well as fatty fish like cod and seabass too); with vegetables like bitter gourd; tofu; crabs; and yes, squid too : ) (and alot of other seafoods like crayfish etc)
I guess it works well with anything that takes to intense flavorings, as fermented black beans (at least the ones I know) are strongly flavored.

on a side note... natto is quite different from fermented black beans, and they are a definite acquired taste preference. I'm still working on that one.
: )


Niki: Thanks for pointing out the kitchen/chicken thing :-))))), I read it three times but had not noticed it! I'll just leave it like that for others to have a laugh! Thanks for the natto link... I've been reading a lot about it, starting for Anthony Bourdin in "a cook's tour". I'm almost curious to taste it. BTW to "it's like Vegemite is to Austrlians...unpalatable to everyone but them!" you should add Daniela to the Australians... she loves the stuff....ugh

Johanna: huitlacoche sounds great, sadly I seriously doubt I'll be able to find any here in Germany.

Renee: Thanks for the many tips and ideas for using black beans. I have some nice ribs in the fridge which just needed a cooking idea, now I have a plan :-). The beans I have are whole and salted.


there is a tin with dried salted fish and fermented black beans sold in asian shops here and where u're at. it's addictive when eating it with porridge. even if the entire thing is covered in oil.


I was wondering if anybody here knows what to do with dry 'raw' black beans. I bought a bag of these some time ago, and only later when I came home and started looking for recipes that use black beans I found out that usually these are fermented.


You ll be able to buy either dried fermented black beans or a black bean paste or sauce at a chinese grocery store.
Here is what I like to do with the unfermented dried black beans you accidentally got; Rinse about a cup of beans, cover with water and bring to a simmer, it might take 30 to 40 min (when checking for donneness, run cool water on a bean before testing, they might seem done when still hot but a bit crunchy when they ve cooled). Peel and cut 2 sweet potatoes in ABOUT 1 inch cubes. In a bowl add a bit of oil salt and pepper and toss the sweet potatoes. Roast these babies in a very hot oven (400 F) When done, throw these in a bowl, add the beans, thinly sliced green oignons, crushed garlic, and roasted red pepper if you have.
Make a dressing of lime juice (lots is good) veg oil, a pinch of sugar or honey, salt and pepper. This is delishious served a bit warm.
Check on the net for more recipies you ll find tones!!


Thanks, Chloe - this sounds really good, I'll try it.


oops, sorry alberto... just had a conversation with my mum about fermented black beans, and she informs me that only lazy cooks like me ; p use the beans in paste form, she always uses the dry versions like you.
sigh! sorry for the misinformation : (


Renee, thanks again for the info. About being lazy...maybe too busy working and writing your blog too cook ;-))?


Hello everyone - I'm new here :)
I cooked a lovely stir fry tonight.

I mixed bitesize turkey pieces (recipe said chicken but I had already got turkey) with soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, corn starch and sugar, then stir fried the turkey, added chopped onion, garlic, ginger and black beans, stir fried a little longer then added some chicken stock and simmered.

I had it with a big mound of steamed green veggies and it was DELICIOUS.

I have lots of the beans left over so I will keep them in the fridge, I'm pleased to hear they last for ages.

x Alice


Hi Alice and welcome. The stir-fry sounds really appetising!


alberto, i am reading this post while i eat a black bean dish. i made it with garlic, scallions, cubed tofu, ground pork, pickled szechuan vegetable diced - all cooked up with some chinese huatiao wine, soy, dark soy and sugar. of course a bit of cornstarch to thicken the gravy. sort of like a mapo tofu. but instead of brown bean, i use black here.

i've also made a black bean shrimp penne dish :) that's good.

my sis in law also makes a black bean, pickled mustard, galangal (blue ginger) and ground pork dish that goes really good with rice :)


stef, you're really making me hungry :-). Haven't had black beans for a while, will have to make up for that soon!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Content for sale

  • Buy content through ScooptWords

    Creative Commons License

Subscribe to Il Forno