Concentrated Black Bean Sauce- vegan

Black bean sauce shown here served on grilled tofu with noodles and stir-fried mixed vegetables

This is a useful and quick sauce to make; it will liven up a pot of cooked vegetables or make a tasty stir fry. I served it with noodles, cubed grilled tofu and stir-fried veggies. Rather than black, it comes out a rather appetising deep brown colour. The black beans I used here are the preserved black beans- see here- rather than the canned ones, which I have never actually tried. My recipe serves 4 people; it doesn't look like much, but the flavour is very rich and you don't need loads. You could stretch it further and make it less rich by simply adding more water. In fact, add at least 250ml more water if you're going to throw it in the wok with veggies and noodles for 4.

100g preserved black beans (from a packet rather than canned)
2 tabs soy sauce
1 tab lemon juice
2 heaped tsps Chinese 5-spice seasoning (check on the container that it contains no onion or garlic; some brands do)
1 tsp ground ginger
250ml (1 cup) water

  • If making by hand, mash the beans than add the other ingredients including the water and mash again, then mix or whisk well. Heat gently in a saucepan and/ or add to a stir-fry; whatever you fancy.
  • If you have a blender or food processor then just put everything in and blitz it for a minute or so until you have a homogeneous sauce. You can now use it however you like. Adjust the water content to get your desired consistency and concentration of flavours; I used it as per this recipe and served  each person about 1-1 1/2 tabs. It was punchy and tangy, and really livened up an otherwise bland meal!


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