Chinese Beef and Peppers in Black Bean Sauce

Chinese Beef and Peppers in Black Bean Sauce

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 13 mins
Marinate: 25 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
411 Calories
30g Fat
9g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 411
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 79mg 26%
Sodium 384mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 42mg 211%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 469mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Use this easy recipe to make Chinese beef and bell peppers with a savory black bean sauce. The dish comes together quickly and makes a tasty, satisfying meal with rice or noodles.

This dish will not only make your mouth water, it is a staple of Cantonese home cooking. Chock-full of ingredients such as garlic, ginger, and onions, it's a great meal to have if you're watching your weight or trying to make better culinary choices.

Ingredients

For the Marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 3/4 pound sirloin steak, or flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain

Prepare the Vegetables:

  • 2 medium bell peppers (1 green and 1 orange or red)

  • 1 small onion

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 large, thin ginger slices

  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, or black bean sauce, to taste

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 4 tablespoons oil, divided, for stir-frying, or as needed

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, or broth or water

  • 1 dash salt, or to taste

  • 1 dash ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 dash soy sauce, or to taste

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Chinese beef and peppers dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for cooking.

Make the Marinade

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    marinade ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon oil.

    mix together sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, and oil in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Add the beef and marinate for 25 to 30 minutes.

    beef and marinade in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prepare the Vegetables

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for vegetables

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. While the beef is marinating, remove the stems and seeds from the bell peppers and chop into 3/4-inch pieces.

    diced peppers

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Then, peel the onion and chop into 1/2-inch pieces.

    chopped onions

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Finely chop the garlic and ginger.

    chopped onions and garlic

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. After that, use a cleaver or knife to chop the beans into tiny pieces.

    chopped beans

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Mix the chopped garlic and ginger with the black beans.

    Mix the chopped garlic and ginger with the black beans in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Stir-Fry

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    stir fry ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil.

    wok with oil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Wait until the oil is hot and then add the beef. Brown briefly.

    beef cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Then stir-fry until it changes color and is about 80 percent cooked.

    beef cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Remove the beef from the wok. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok.

    beef in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, and bean mixture. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic.

    Add ginger and garlic to the wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Add the onion, and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.

    add onions to the sauce in the wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Then add the peppers and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp tender.

    add peppers to the onions in the wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Pour in the chicken broth and heat to boiling. (If you don't have chicken broth or stock, just use water.)

    add chicken broth to the vegetables in the wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Add the beef back into the wok. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for a few more minutes.

    add beef to the vegetables in the wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  11. Taste and season with salt, pepper, or soy sauce, if desired.

    beef and vegetables cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Tip

  • Soy sauce contains sodium and fermented black beans (or black bean sauce) is salty, so consider using a reduced-sodium soy sauce or dark soy sauce if you prefer less salty food.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover beef and peppers in a shallow container within 2 hours and eat within 4 days. 
  • Though the peppers won't be as crisp, leftover beef and peppers may be frozen for longer storage. Transfer the cooled beef and peppers to a zip-close bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost frozen beef and peppers in black bean sauce in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat, add a small amount of oil to the wok or skillet and place it over medium heat. Add the leftover beef and peppers and cook, stirring, until hot.

Are Fermented Black Beans and Black Bean Sauce the Same?

They are similar in that both contain fermented black beans, but black bean sauce includes additional ingredients. Fermented black beans are a base made with fermented salted black soybeans. The flavor of fermented black beans is salty and slightly bitter and sweet. Black bean sauce is made with fermented black beans along with garlic and soy sauce.