Chicken in Black Bean Sauce

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Preparation info

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Appears in

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

The Chinese love to suck chicken bones, and they often chop the bird into fairly small pieces, either before or after cooking it. When stir-fried with black beans and lots of garlic, the chicken pieces are scrumptious.


  • 1 chicken, 2ΒΌβ€”2Β½ pounds, cleaned, chopped through skin and bones into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium-sized green pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 15-20 garlic cloves
  • 4 large scallions, cut into 2-inch sections, white and green parts separated
  • 3-3Β½ tablespoons preserved black beans, 2 tablespoons mashed and 1 tablespoon left whole
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 1Β½ teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water


  • Β½ teaspoon salt
  • Β½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • 8 turns black pepper mill
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine or medium-dry sherry


  • Marinate the chicken. Add the salt, sugar, soy sauce, pepper, and wine or sherry to the chicken and mix thoroughly. Leave to stand for about 30 minutes. Separate the white breast pieces from the rest.
  • Heat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add Β½ tablespoon of the oil and swirl it around. Add the green pepper, season with a pinch of salt, and stir for about 1 minute over medium heat. Remove and keep nearby.
  • Reheat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the remaining 3Β½ tablespoons oil and swirl it around several times. Add the garlic, fry for about 30 seconds, or until it takes on color. Add the white scallions, stir a few times, then add the black beans and stir together to release their aroma. Add the chicken, except for the breast pieces, and, going to the bottom of the wok with a wok scoop or a metal spatula, turn and toss vigorously for about 2 minutes. Add the breast pieces and continue to turn and toss for another minute. Splash the wine or sherry around the sides of the wok, stirring all the time. When the sizzling subsides, lower the heat to medium, put on the wok lid, and continue to cook for about 4 minutes. Remove the lid and stir, turning over the pieces, which should have oozed out juices. Taste the dark meat for readiness, then continue to cook, covered, for another 3-5 minutes, or until just cooked.
  • Remove the lid, return the green pepper to the wok, and stir together with the chicken until hot. Pour in the well-stirred dissolved cornstarch, stirring as it thickens. Add the green scallions, mix, and serve immediately.

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