Beef with black bean sauce is tender sirloin and vegetables in a spicy-sweet sauce. Make this simple stir fry recipe for dinner tonight!
The stir fry recipes we enjoy today haven't changed much since their inception during the Han dynasty (301 B.C.). It's a meal that's simple to prepare and easy to customize.
The method of quickly cooking protein and vegetables in hot oil allows the food to retain its nutrients. At the same time, the hot wok helps to eliminate any excess moisture.
The result is a stir fried meal with succulent, juicy proteins and crisp-tender, healthy veggies.
For people whose diet primarily consists of grains, stir frying is a delicious way for their body to get essential nutrients.
Beef with black bean sauce
Cuisine: Chinese / Asian
Fermented foods are used to make many dishes in Chinese cuisine, including dishes like kimchi and black bean sauce.
Health studies show that some fermented foods, including the black soybeans in black bean sauce, are in high in fiber, prebiotics and probiotics. All of these are helpful in creating healthy gut bacteria.
Healthiness aside, beef with black bean sauce is just a downright delicious stir fry!
Difficulty: Easy 🥄
Slices of beef sirloin quickly cooked in hot oil with asaparagus, celery, and onion, then tossed in a tangy, spicy-sweet black bean sauce
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Beef- The best choices for stir frying are lean cuts, with little to no visible fat. Because stir frying is such a quick cooking process, there isn't time for fat to melt and break down.
Best beef for stir fry
I use lean sirloin steak for my black bean beef, but other cuts of beef that are good for stir frying include:
- hangar steak
- flank steak
- skirt steak
- boneless rump roast
Black bean sauce
- Black bean sauce / paste
This condiment is typically found at the grocery store, near the other ethnic ingredients. It may be labeled as black bean paste, which is the same product as black bean sauce.
If you don't find it at your regular grocery store, any local Asian market will have it, or you can source it online.
- Dark soy sauce
Unlike traditional soy sauce, dark soy sauce is fermented rather than being chemically processed.
As the name implies, the color is very dark, almost black. Dark soy sauce also has a thicker consistency, richer umami flavor, and less sodium than regular soy sauce.
Vegetables for beef stir fry
Choosing the veggies for your beef stir fry is completely up to you. This is a great opportunity to empty out your refrigerator produce drawer!
In my recipe for beef with black bean sauce, I use asparagus, celery and onion.
Asparagus is a Spring vegetable, so unless you live in an area where it's grown year round, you may not be able to find it.
Good stir fry vegetables include:
- scallion (green onions)
- bean sprouts
- sugar snap peas
- green beans
- water chestnuts
- baby corn
- zucchini or yellow squash
Serving and storing beef with black bean sauce
A side of steamed white rice is perfect with any beef stir fry. If you'd like a healthier, whole grain choice, use brown rice instead.
If you're serving more courses, consider making a Chinese appetizer like egg rolls, spring rolls, or pork pot stickers.
If you have any leftover beef with black bean sauce, keep it in a covered container in the fridge. Reheat and enjoy it again with 5 days, or toss it out after that.
Beef with Black Bean Sauce
- 1 ½ lbs beef sirloin (See Note 1)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce (See Note 2)
- ¼ cup beef broth
- 3 tablespoon black bean paste
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (See Note 2)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 lb asparagus woody ends trimmed off
- 4 stalks celery
- Cut beef with the grain into 2-inch strips, then cut across the grain into ¼-inch pieces, or use pre-cut beef strips for stir fry.
- Add beef to a bowl with vegetable oil, cornstarch and soy sauce. Stir to coat, marinate for 10 minutes.
- Peel and cut onion in half, trim both ends. With cut end toward you, cut each into ½-inch strips across onion. Cut celery into ½" pieces and asparagus into thirds. Set aside.
- In small bowl, whisk together beef broth, bean paste, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Heat a wok over high heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons oil and stir fry the beef. Be sure to break meat apart into strips if stuck together. Continue stir frying for 3 minutes, tossing occasionally until beef is no longer pink. Remove from wok and set aside.
- Add the onion and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the celery and cook another 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, sauce mixture and beef back to the wok and stir fry for 4 minutes.
- Serve as is, over noodles or with steamed rice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs (optional).
- Other good cuts of beef for stir fry are hangar steak, ribeye, flank or skirt steak, and boneless rump roast.
- Dark soy sauce is much different than traditional light, all-purpose soy sauce. It's very thick, with a rich umami flavor and is fermented/aged rather than being chemically processed like all purpose soy sauce. It also has less salt! The color is very dark, almost black. If you can't find dark soy sauce, equal parts regular soy sauce and oyster sauce could be used instead, or just regular soy sauce.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.