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Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

Chicken with black bean sauce is a Chinese restaurant classic, but if you can get hold of fermented black beans, you can make a homemade version that truly outshines its takeout cousin. This easy stir-fry recipe is so full of umami, it’ll blow your mind.

20 minutes
10 minutes

500g (1 lb) chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, sliced

2 capsicums (bell peppers), deseeded, julienned

¼ cup oyster sauce

2 spring onions (scallions), roughly chopped

steamed rice, to serve


Homemade black bean sauce:

¼ cup peanut oil

8 garlic cloves, finely grated

4cm (1.5”) piece ginger, peeled, finely grated

½ cup salted fermented black beans*

2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch), combined with 2 tsp water



1 tbsp soy sauce

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine

½ tsp black pepper

3 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)

  • Step 1

    For the black bean sauce, heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the black beans and stir to combine. Add ½ cup of water to the wok along with the Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the water has nearly evaporated. Next, add the cornflour mixture and simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened. Turn off the heat and set aside.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, whisk together the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Then add the chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well with your hands to make sure each piece is coated. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken, spread the pieces out evenly and allow to sear for about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to toss the chicken around and then cook for another 2 minutes or until it’s starting to form a nice brown crust but isn’t fully cooked. Now add the onion and stir-fry for a minute or until slightly softened. Add the capsicum and stir-fry for another 2 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

  • Step 4

    Add 2 tablespoons of your homemade black bean sauce, oyster sauce and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir-fry until well combined. Toss through the spring onion and serve with steamed rice.

  • Notes

    – Chinese Shaoxing wine is a type of cooking rice wine. It’s available in the Asian aisle of some major supermarkets or from an Asian grocery store. If you’d rather leave it out, simply replace with chicken stock.

What are fermented black beans?

Fermented black beans have a wonderful flavour that’s packed full of umami, and they are commonly used in Chinese recipes. They’re made by salting and fermenting black soybeans, and the end result is a dry bean that’s salty and aromatic. Salted fermented black beans come in vacuum packs or in cans. You can find them from an Asian grocery store or order them online.

What is black bean sauce?

You can use Chinese black beans to make a delicious homemade black bean sauce, also known as douchi in Mandarin – it’s so much better than takeout! Once you’ve made a batch, transfer to a sterilised jar and keep in the fridge for up to two months.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
Very good0%
Jamie W
April 5, 2024

Love the Black Bean Sauce

I’m happy to have extra homemade black bean sauce in the fridge! It won’t last long! I stir fried the chicken in two batches to ensure I was able to get that nice crispy, caramelization. Definitely, a great recipe.

February 8, 2023


Love your recipes, they always turn out finger licking good. 🙏

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