Black bean sauce dishes are arguably the most famous on any Chinese takeaway menu.  Salty, and often with a chilli kick, this familiar friend will deliver when your tastebuds crave the flavours of Asian food – but this recipe is a far healthier and more stripped-down version of the ‘Number 42’ classic most of you will recognise.  I’ve replaced the traditional chunks of green pepper and onion with blanched broccoli, and thinned out the sauce to enable your senses to truly fall in love with the main attraction – the Mighty Black Bean.

SERVES 2 – PREP 10 mins – COOK 8 mins

1 small head of broccoli (approx 250g), cut into small florets

3tsp sesame oil

Pinch of salt

1tbsp groundnut oil

2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled  and finely chopped

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1 spring onion, finely chopped (optional)

1tbsp fermented black beans soaked for 5 minutes in warm water and drained

1 beef sirloin steak (approx 250g), sliced into strips, excess fat removed if desired

1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Ground white pepper

1tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

Light soy sauce, to taste

For the quick pickled chilli:

1 fresh red chilli, sliced into long diagonal strips

2tbsps rice vinegar

1-2tsp caster sugar

      To make the quick pickled chilli, but the strips of chilli into a bowl and cover with rice vinegar.  Sprinkle with the caster sugar and leave to soak while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

2       Blanch the broccoli in salted boiling water for 2 mins.  Drain, then season with a drizzle of sesame oil and a pinch of salt.  Mix well and set aside.

3       Heat the wok over a high heat and add a glug of oil.  Add the ginger, garlic and spring onion and stir-fry for 10 secs, or until the garlic

4       Add the strips of steak and cook for 2-3 mins, to seal on all sides.  Add the chilli, blanched broccoli and a pinch of salt and pepper, along with the Shaoxing rice wine, 1tsp of soy sauce and 1tbsp of water. Toss to mix well.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

5       Drain the pickled chilli and serve on the side as an optional fiery kick to the beef and broccoli.

Extracted from GOK COOKS CHINESE by Gok Wan published by Michael Joseph on 10th May at £20.00.  Copyright © Gok Wan 2012.  Photographs copyright © Jemma Watts 2012.

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