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Black Bean-Garlic Sauce

Ming says: As a teenager in Dayton, Ohio, I had to seek out Chinatowns away from home to have black beans and clams, a dish I'd dream about—literally. The combo is classic Chinese, like its main savory seasoning, the black beans and garlic. This version gives you all the great pungent taste of that immortal pairing without the bother of having to chop and blend every time you want it. At Blue Ginger we use this sauce all the time to make the delicious Wok-Stirred Clams and Black Beans on page 35- and you will too, once you have it on hand.

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  • 1 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil

  • 0.33 cup fermented roughly chopped black bean

  • 0.5 cup minced Garlic

  • 0.5 cup peeled and minced fresh Garlic

  • 2 bunches white and green parts scallions sliced 1/8 inch thick

  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or hot red pepper sauce

  • 0.5 cup shao xing cooking wine or dry sherry

  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon Ground black Pepper


  • 1.

    Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat.

  • 2.

    Add 1/4 cup of the oil and swirl to coat the pan.

  • 3.

    Add the beans, garlic, ginger, and scallions, and stir-fry until the mixture has softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • 4.

    Add the sambal oelek and wine, decrease the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture is reduced by three quarters, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • 5.

    Add the salt and pepper.

  • 6.

    Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool.

  • 7.

    Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and purée it at high speed while adding the remaining 3/4 cup of oil.

  • 8.

    Stir the purée back into the remaining mixture and cool completely.

  • 9.

    Use or store. Lasts 2 weeks, refrigerated.

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