Shrimp Stir Fry with Black Bean Sauce

You could probably have this dish completed in the time it would take for your food to be delivered from your favorite local Chinese take-out. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Another plus? This is probably a gajillion times healthier, too.

I’ve been meaning to try different stir fry recipes, but 99.999% of the time, I make this. I have used chicken, shrimp, tofu, or even some sort of combination of the three and it always comes out pretty great. You can use any vegetables. I love snow peas and red peppers, so I end up making this dish with those two plus a combination of other vegetables – broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms, carrots, and water chestnuts are all delicious here.

Really, the secret is in the sauce. In this dish, the hero ingredient is black bean sauce. For years, I thought the sauce was made from fermenting regular plain old black beans like the ones more typically found in Latin American cuisine. Then a couple years ago, I remember thinking there really wasn’t a lot of beans in Chinese cuisine. Isn’t it a little odd they’d make a sauce out of it??? So, I did a little bit of research (I Googled it) aaand my suspicions were confirmed. The sauce is actually made by fermenting black soy beans. 

Anyways, it’s probably one of my all-time favorite cooking sauces. It’s delicious and I really like the unexpected flavor and depth it adds without any unnecessary heaviness.

As with any stir fry, prep is key. You’re working on relatively high heat, so have all your proteins, vegetables, seasonings, and sauces ready to go. Ideally, you would use a wok, but a large skillet is a perfectly fine alternative.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (approximately 20-25 medium sized shrimp)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 5-6 scallions, chopped
  • 2c snow peas, fibrous strings removed – check this out if you’re thinking, “Huh??”
  • 1/2 red pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 can (approximately 8 pieces) of baby yellow corn
  • 2tbsp black bean sauce
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1-2tsp corn starch
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix 1-2tsp corn starch with a bit of water, just enough to fully incorporate the cornstarch into the water (less than 1/16c)
  2. Add oil (I used canola) to a wok on medium high heat
  3. Add garlic and scallion, season with a little salt & pepper, and sauté until fragrant
  4. Add black bean sauce, soy sauce, and Hoisin sauce and stir to combine
  5. Add shrimp and cook until slightly pink, but not done (approximately 2min on each side)
  6. Remove shrimp
  7. Add the vegetables and warm thru (1-2min)
  8. Move vegetables over to one side of the wok and create a small pocket of space
  9. Add slurry to that space and then, mix into the stir fry
  10. Add back the shrimp
  11. Adjust seasonings
  12. Enjoy!

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Notes

All of the vegetables I used in this dish can be prepped in advance. With prep done ahead of time, this dish should be ready and on your table in less than 15 minutes.

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