Recently we have received a few inquiries (ahem, complaints) from friends and readers (cough cough, tonight’s dinner guest) as to why our blog title implies Asian food when we’ve been predominately preparing dishes that are not Chinese. So, to please our readers and quiet the critics, Elizabeth concocted tonight’s special recipe. No it’s not part of the Iron Chef competition, but it still has a secret ingredient: black bean sauce! And while recipes for black bean sauce abound on the the Interwebs, we happened to get ours already prepared from the grocery store, so don’t feel bad if you cut out a few steps and do the same.
Start by boiling some noodles; ours were not quite as wide as fettucini, though pretty much any noodles will work. Once those are cooked, drain and put aside, but make sure they don’t stick together because they’ll be used again in a minute. While those are boiling though, begin chopping up some veggies. Tonight, our noodles are a bit of a green monster because we only used green vegetables. First, we minced some garlic and threw that in the pan, because goodness knows we can’t make a meal without it. Then, we thinly sliced zucchini, celery and green pepper and added them into the wok with a splash of oil to saute.
As those cook, add in a dusting of ground ginger, a sprinkle of paprika and a few shakes of soy sauce to taste, along with the pasta noodles after the veggies are more done. Then, we added in the secret ingredient. We began with just one or two spoonfuls of the black bean sauce, but by the time it was all said and done, I’d say at least four spoonfuls or more went in.
WARNING: black bean sauce has the potential to be very spicy; I know from accidental experience. So make sure you do plenty of taste testing as you go along to get your preferred level of spice. We also added in some pre-cooked “beef” tofu to ours, which gave us some extra protein and texture in the dish. Continue adding other spices and soy sauce, along with some salt, pepper and garlic powder until you just can’t wait to eat it anymore.
Then, serve up next to your favorite side dish or alone. We paired ours this night with the garlic stir-fried green beans, which were delicious. And I think we satisfied our dinner guest and his request for Chinese food on the blog. He even decided to show off the skills he learned in circus camp as a kid. Yes, our friends are that cool.