Project: Aromatic Crispy Duck – Part 3: Black Bean Paste

Black Bean Paste is a fantastically useful thing to have in the kitchen. It can elevate a simple dish and a teaspoonful can save a boring dish from oblivion. I will not only show you how to make black bean paste, but also show you one recipe that is both simple and delicious and really quick and easy to make. For our Aromatic Crispy Duck, we need Hoisin Sauce and for Hoisin Sauce, we need Black Bean Paste. You can easily buy black bean paste in the supermarket and there is nothing wrong with doing that. But I think if you want to buy it, just buy ready-made Hoisin Sauce and skip to Part 5: Steaming the Duck, which will be coming up in a couple of days. And here’s everything we have already done and all the things we still have to do to get to the most marvellous crispy aromatic duck.

  1. Five Spice Powder (see Project: Aromatic Crispy Duck – Part 1: Five Spice Powder)
  2. Aromatic Salt and Spice Mix (see Project: Aromatic Crispy Duck – Part 2: Aromatic Salt and Spice Mix)
  3. Marinating the Duck (the link above will show you how to marinate the duck)
  4. Black Bean Paste
  5. Hoisin Sauce
  6. Steaming the Duck
  7. Pancakes & Garnishes
  8. Frying the Duck

For those of you who are as crazy as I am and want to make everything from scratch, here’s how you start:

Black Bean Paste:

  • 60g fermented black beans
  • 75g garlic ginger paste
  • 40g spring onion
  • 1 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 100ml stock or water
  • 2Tbsp / 30ml Chinese rice wine
  • 1 Tbsp / 15ml soy sauce
  • 1tsp / 6g sugar
  • ½ tsp / 3ml rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp / 15ml dark soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp / 30ml water

You CAN make your own fermented beans, but if you do, you’re even crazier than I am! In general, I will not bother to make something I can buy, if it does not improve my dish. I once spent weeks candying orange and lemon peel only to find at the end that it tasted exactly like the one I had bought in the store just in case my candying failed. Lesson learnt.

Start by soaking the fermented black beans in 300ml water for 1 hour. In the meantime, chop the spring onions fine and measure out the stock, add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, dark soy sauce and water to it. Stir to dissolve. Once the black beans are soaked, drain them and chop them real rough…

From the green stuff: Chopped spring onions, ginger garlic paste, chopped soaked black beans, (cornstarch slurry, which I didn’t use) and the stock mix.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the ginger garlic paste at medium low heat for about 2 minutes. Don’t let it take on any colour. Now add the spring onion and fry for another minute. Fry the black beans for a minute or two. Make sure not to burn them, or your paste will be bitter.

Give your flavoured stock another stir to make sure the sugar doesn’t sit at the bottom and pour in all into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until your paste has thickened. This is not a very thick paste and some people use corn starch to thicken and bind it, but I don’t think it is necessary. And here’s our
Black Bean Paste

In know I promised you a recipe and it will come, and a link will be posted right here:

Stir-Fried Beef with Bitter Gourd and Black Bean Sauce

3 thoughts on “Project: Aromatic Crispy Duck – Part 3: Black Bean Paste

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