Beef with Black Bean Sauce

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 25/09/2023 Updated: 28/11/2023
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Easy and ready in under 30 minutes beef with black bean sauce is made with tender beef, bell peppers, snow peas and tossed in a rich savory black bean garlic sauce.
Beef with Black Bean Sauce

Easy and ready in under 30 minutes beef with black bean sauce is made with tender beef, bell peppers, and snow peas and tossed in a rich savory black bean garlic sauce.

Looking down at a plate of beef with black bean sauce with vegetables.

Beef with black bean sauce is a savory Chinese stir-fry dish that comprises tender slices of beef, crisp bell peppers, and snow peas tossed in a bold, umami-packed black bean garlic sauce. This is better than takeout beef in black bean sauce. It is incredibly easy to make and can be completed in under 30 minutes!

All you will need is one wok or large skillet to make this beef and black bean stir fry. Serve your beef and black bean sauce with a bowl of steamed rice for a quick yet incredibly satisfying and delicious weeknight meal. If you are looking for more better than takeout recipes, check out our chicken and broccoli, honey walnut shrimp, and chicken lo mein.

A pair of chopsticks lifting up a piece of steak from a plate of beef with black bean sauce.

What is Beef with Black Bean Sauce?

Beef in a black bean sauce is a popular Chinese stir-fry dish featuring tender beef slices, and crisp and crunchy vegetables coated in a rich, flavorful thick black bean sauce made from fermented black beans.

Black bean sauce is the star of the dish. The black beans are salted and fermented which results in a pungent and savory flavor. They are then combined with garlic, ginger, and other seasonings. Black bean sauce has a deeply savory, umami, salty flavor. It generally is used as a flavor enhancer for meat and vegetables. You can buy black bean sauce in a jar in any Asian grocery store.

Looking down at a plate of beef with black bean sauce with vegetables.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This black bean beef stir fry is one of our favorite recipes on rotation. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love it too:

  1. Rich and Savory: the beef in black bean sauce offers a rich and complex flavor profile with the combination of fermented black beans, aromatics, and savory umami sauces.
  2. Quick and Easy: beef with black bean sauce is really easy to make and can be ready to serve in under 30 minutes!
  3. Customizable and Versatile: you can customize your beef and black bean sauce stir fry by substituting your choice of protein and vegetables or by adjusting the spiciness or thickness of the sauce.
A plate of steak with black bean sauce with table settings nearby.

Kitchen Equipment

You will need the following items of kitchen equipment for this beef and black bean sauce recipe.

  • Mixing Bowl: you will need a mixing bowl to marinate the beef and to mix the sauce.
  • Wok: I recommend using a wok for all of your stir-fry recipes. The high walls and rounded shape allow you to cook everything evenly and toss the food without spilling over the sides.

Ingredients

You can find all of the ingredients for this beef in black bean sauce recipe at your local Asian grocery market. I’ve also linked all the ingredients you can find online below.

  • Flank Steak: thinly sliced flank steak is ideal for this black bean beef stir fry.
  • Red Bell Pepper and Snow Peas: crisp red bell peppers and snow peas are used in the stir fry.
  • Garlic, ginger, onion: fresh garlic, ginger, and onion are the main aromatics in this black bean beef recipe.
All the vegetables for beef with black bean sauce.

Beef Marinade

  • Cornstarch: cornstarch locks in the beef which makes it very juicy.
  • Baking Soda: baking soda breaks down the protein strands in the beef which makes it very tender.
  • Vegetable Oil: vegetable oil adds moisture to the marinade.
  • Oyster Sauce: the oyster sauce is made from oyster extracts that add a savory, sweet, and umami flavor from the brininess of oysters to the marinade.
  • Shaoxing Wine: Shaoxing wine is a type of Chinese cooking wine that is made from rice and adds a caramel-like, nutty, vinegary, spicy flavor to the beef marinade.
  • White pepper: white pepper adds a milder pepper flavor than regular black pepper.
All the ingredients for marinating flank steak.

Stir Fry Sauce

  • Chicken Stock: chicken stock adds another layer of mild savory flavoring that enhances the sauce.
  • Black Bean Garlic Sauce: black bean garlic sauce is a Chinese condiment made from black fermented soybeans, garlic, and other seasonings. It adds a sharp, pungent, salty, spicy, and sweet flavor. Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic sauce is the most popular option.
  • Oyster Sauce: oyster sauce adds a rich umami flavor to the beef and black bean stir fry
  • Dark Soy Sauce: dark soy sauce adds a rich soy sauce flavor and also adds to the dark amber brown coloring in the black bean stir fry sauce.
  • Shaoxing wine: Shaoxing wine adds a nutty, vinegary, flavor to the sauce.
  • Sesame Oil: sesame oil adds a rich nutty finish to the beef in a black bean sauce.
  • Granulated Sugar: a touch of granulated sugar adds a hint of sweetness to balance out the rich savory flavors in the black bean beef stir fry.
  • Cornstarch: cornstarch mixed with water creates a cornstarch slurry that thickens the black bean sauce.
All the ingredients for making black bean sauce.

Substitutions and Additions

You can easily customize your beef and black bean sauce recipe. I’ve listed some substitutions or additions for you below.

Substitutions

  • Beef: instead of flank steak, you can alternatively use skirt steak, tenderloin, ribeye, sirloin, or beef chuck.
  • Protein: instead of beef, you can alternatively use chicken, shrimp, or tofu instead.
  • Neutral oil: instead of vegetable oil you can use avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or canola oil.
  • Rice Wine: instead of Shaoxing wine you can alternatively use rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar.
  • Starch: if you don’t have cornstarch, you can alternatively use potato starch, tapioca starch, or rice flour.
  • Stock: instead of chicken stock, you can alternatively use beef stock, vegetable stock, or water.

Additions

  • Vegetables: for more vegetables, you can add or substitute carrots, broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms, etc.
  • Spice: if you’d like spicy beef in black bean sauce, go ahead and add sriracha, chili oil, or hot chili peppers to your stir fry.

How to Make Beef with Black Bean Sauce

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make this beef in black bean sauce recipe. The longest part is waiting for the beef to marinade.

  1. Marinate. In a medium mixing bowl, add the beef, oyster sauce, cornstarch, Shaoxing wine, baking soda, white pepper, and vegetable oil. Mix until combined. Marinate for at least 20 minutes.
Flank steak marinating inside a glass mixing bowl.
  1. Mix the sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, add the chicken stock, black bean garlic sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, dark soy sauce, white pepper, Shaoxing wine, and sesame oil. Set aside.
Black bean sauce mixed together in a glass mixing bowl.
  1. Cook the beef. In a wok or large skillet over medium heat, heat cooking oil until hot. Cook the meat on a single layer on both sides until cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Marinated flank steak cooking inside a large wok.
  1. Cook vegetables. In the same wok or large skillet over medium heat, heat cooking oil until hot. Then add the sliced onion, ginger, and minced garlic, and cook until translucent and fragrant about 1 minute. Then add the bell pepper and snow peas and cook until crisp and tender about 2 minutes.
Vegetables cooking inside a large wok.
  1. Add sauce. Add the sauce and the beef. Bring it to a simmer. Then stir the cornstarch and water until incorporated into a slurry and add to the sauce. Stir the sauce until it thickens. Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!
Looking down at a plate of beef with black bean sauce with vegetables.

Tips for the Best Beef with Black Bean Sauce

  • Freeze the steak: if you do not buy pre-sliced steak, freeze the steak and then thinly slice the steak 1/4 inch thick against the grain.
  • Choose the right beef: for the most tender beef, you should select flank steak or sirloin steak.
  • Marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes: marinating the beef gives time for the marinade to infuse the beef with flavor and make it more tender.
  • Have all your ingredients prepped before stir-frying: it’s essential to have all your ingredients prepped before cooking since the cooking time is quick once you begin and will last no longer than 10 minutes.
  • Wait until the wok is hot: wait until the wok and oil are hot before adding the beef or vegetables. This will ensure you will have a nice sear on the beef and vegetables.
  • Add more cornstarch slurry for a thicker sauce: if you’d like an even thicker sauce, add more cornstarch slurry one teaspoon at a time until your desired consistency.

Storage Instructions

You can store this black bean beef dish for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Reheat: To reheat, you can either cook in a wok until warm or microwave-covered until warm.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What is the best beef to use for beef with black bean sauce?

Flank steak is the best option for the most tender beef stir fry. However, you can also use skirt steak, tenderloin, ribeye, sirloin, or beef chuck.

What is black bean sauce made of?

Black bean sauce is made with fermented black beans, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, chili peppers, and sugar.

What other vegetables can I use in this dish?

Commonly used vegetables for this dish include bell peppers, onions, snow peas, and sometimes broccoli or mushrooms. You can easily customize whichever vegetables you want based on your preferences.

How do I serve beef in black bean sauce?

Beef in black bean sauce is traditionally served over steamed rice but can be served with noodles or other Chinese stir-fry dishes.

Is beef with black bean sauce spicy?

This black bean beef recipe is not spicy. But you can adjust the level of spiciness by adding chili peppers, chili flakes, sriracha, or chili oil to add heat.

Did you make this Beef with Black Bean Sauce?

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Beef with Black Bean Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Easy and ready in under 30 minutes beef with black bean sauce is made with tender beef, bell peppers, snow peas and tossed in a rich savory black bean garlic sauce.
Servings: 4 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb flank steak thinly sliced against the grain 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup snow peas ends trimmed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ inch knob ginger peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ yellow onion thinly sliced

Beef Marinade

Stir fry Sauce

Cornstarch slurry

  • 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon water

Instructions

  • Marinate. In a medium mixing bowl, add the beef, oyster sauce, cornstarch, Shaoxing wine, baking soda, white pepper, and vegetable oil. Mix until combined. Marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  • Mix the sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, add the chicken stock, black bean garlic sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, dark soy sauce, white pepper, Shaoxing wine, and sesame oil. Set aside.
  • Cook the beef. In a wok or large skillet over medium heat, heat cooking oil until hot. Cook the meat on a single layer on both sides until cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Cook vegetables. In the same wok or large skillet over medium heat, heat cooking oil until hot. Then add the sliced onion, ginger, and minced garlic, and cook until translucent and fragrant about 1 minute. Then add the bell pepper and snow peas and cook until crisp and tender about 2 minutes.
  • Add sauce. Add the sauce and the beef. Bring it to a simmer. Then stir the cornstarch and water until incorporated into a slurry and add to the sauce. Stir the sauce until it thickens. Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!

Notes

 

  • Freeze the steak: if you do not buy pre sliced steak, freeze the steak and then thinly slice the steak 1/4 inch thick against the grain.
  • Choose the right beef: for the most tender beef you should select flank steak or sirloin steak.
  • Marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes: marinating the beef gives time for the marinade to infuse the beef with flavor and make it more tender.
  • Have all your ingredients prepped before stir-frying: it’s essential to have all your ingredients prepped before cooking since the cooking time is quick once you begin and will last no longer than 10 minutes.
  • Wait until the wok is hot: wait until the wok and oil is hot before adding the beef or vegetables. This will ensure you will have a nice sear on the beef and vegetables.
  • Add more cornstarch slurry for a thicker sauce: if you’d like an even thicker sauce, add more cornstarch slurry one teaspoon at a time until your desired consistency.
  • Storage Instructions: You can store this black bean beef dish for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat: To reheat, you can either cook in a wok until warm or microwave-covered until warm.

Nutrition:

Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 609mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1215IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3mg

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