Thursday, May 16, 2013

Recipe: Black Bean and Garlic Sauce Chicken with Snow Peas and Rice

I bought a jar of Black Bean and Garlic sauce on a whim during a recent trip to my grocery store. I'd read about it before—it's a mixture of fermented black soy beans and garlic and it's praised as a marinade for beef and chicken in Asian dishes. I figured it would make for a nice alternative to my usual stir fry marinade ingredients and I was totally right—this sauce is the definition of "umami." It's meaty, salty, and savory, and with a little soy sauce, ginger, and sweet mirin, it makes a delicious marinade.

Serves: 4
Prep. time: 10 minutes, marinate for approx. 20-30 min.
Cooking time: Approx. 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

For the marinade

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small slices or cubes
  • 3 tsp. Black Bean and/with Garlic sauce (can be found in the Asian section at your local grocery store—I used Kikkoman brand)
  • 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. mirin (Sherry will work in a pinch)
  • 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dry ground ginger (or grate a little fresh ginger into the mix)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
For the meal
  • 2 small white or yellow onions, cut into large chunks (quarter the onions and pull apart the layers)
  • Approx. 2 cups snow peas, cleaned
  • 1-2 cups white rice
  • Sesame oil
  • Peanut oil

Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a medium bowl, add the chicken, and toss to combine. Set aside in the fridge and let marinate for 20-30 minutes. Prepare a pot for the rice and cook (I use store brand rice, make two servings, and it takes approx. 20 minutes to cook). While the rice is cooking, heat a splash of sesame oil and a splash of peanut oil in a large (deep) pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the chicken, including the marinade, and cook until partially cooked through, then add the onions and snow peas. Continue to cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. Turn of the heat and serve the chicken and veggie mixture atop the finished rice.

This is a great variation on stir fry, and the black bean and garlic sauce is packed with flavor. Because the marinade only has a few ingredients, it's quick and easy to pull together, which makes this a great meal for a weeknight meal. 

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