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a plate of beef with black bean stir fry with rice

Beef with Black Bean Sauce

A Chinese takeout favourite, beef with black bean sauce is packed with flavour, moreish and the perfect healthy weeknight dinner! Complete the meal with a side of rice.
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Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Beef with black bean sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Marinate Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 287kcal
Author: Genevieve


  • 500 g / 1lb beef strips (note 1)
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper) green is okay too
  • 1 onion thickly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans (note 2)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 thumb size ginger cut into matchsticks
  • 1 sprig green onion cut into 5cm/2inch long
  • Optional: red chilli for extra heat, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoon oil neutral-tasting, eg canola or sunflower

Beef marinade

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • black pepper


  • Combine beef strips with beef marinade, mix well. Marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to cook, add 1 tablespoon of oil and ginger in a large non-stick pan or wok. Cook on medium heat for 30 seconds then add garlic and fermented black beans. Cook for a further minute, stirring continuously. (note 3)
  • Add marinated beef strips into the pan, spreading beef out to a single layer. Turn the heat up to high, cook undisturbed, turning once. (note 4) Remove beef from the pan into a bowl and set aside.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, white parts of green onion, capsicum (bell peppers), onions and chilli (if using). Stir fry on high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add beef back into the pan, along with all the juices. Add green parts of green onion, green parts of green onion and ~¼ cup of water. Stir fry for 30 seconds on high heat.
  • Taste, adjust for salt and pepper to taste (if required).
  • Serve immediately with some freshly cooked rice!


Note 1. Beef for stir-frying beef strips can be found at most major supermarkets or from your local butcher. Otherwise, any tender beef cuts will work perfectly such as sirloin (porterhouse), flanks, fillet, rump and rib-eye.
If using tougher cuts of beef such as chuck, add half a teaspoon of baking soda to the marinade. This 'velveting' technique will help tenderise meats (a handy trick Chinese restaurants uses!) in just 10 minutes!
Note 2. Fermented black beans (aka salted black beans) are black soybeans that have been fermented in salt and thus are quite salty. It adds incredible umami (savoury) flavour to dishes.
Fermented black beans are found at Asian grocers otherwise, most major supermarkets sell black bean sauces in jars in the Asian or international isles. If using, substitute 1 tablespoon of black bean sauce for black beans. 
Close substitute to black beans or the sauce variation is miso paste.
Note 3. Crush the black beans I like to crush about half of the beans with the back of the spatula to help the flavours release, intensify and caramelise. The other half is left as whole for a pop of that black bean umami flavour when eating.
Note 4. Cook beef strips undisturbed, turning once. Will caramelise and seal the outer surface of the beef. Colour = flavour. Tossing and turning the beef constantly will result in moisture releasing from the beef and stop the sizzling! Plus, you don't want to overcook the beef!
Leftovers/freezing Keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container or up to 6 months in the freezer. However, best consume within 2 months in the freezer to avoid freezer burns.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Casuallypeckish or tag #casuallypeckish!


Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 29.1g | Fat: 12.3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3.3g | Iron: 4.1mg