The particular smell of Eastern cooking

Black bean sauce is an important and popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, particularly Cantonese and Sichuan cooking. Salty and spicy with a hint of sweet, black bean sauce contributes a flavor to Chinese food like no other. What an amazing ready made sauce to use in combination with fish (or meat) and vegetables! Thanks to Lia and Cor we still have some in our storage. There is surely a perfect recipe to fix your own but it will be really hard to find the ingredients here.

Mirco, the fishmonger, brought me a beautiful whole fish ( a pinkish skin and cute lips, but I forgot the name, sorry) for 2p. Mirco emptied the tummy and scraped off the skin for me. After rinsing and drying make a few incisions at both sides. Brush a few teaspoons of the black bean sauce on the fish. Put the fish in a pan. Spread a little drizzle of sunflower oil on the fish. Store in the fridge.

Instead of vegetables and rice, we will have an impressive amount of vegetables : 600 grams of string beans(which I bought fresh ones on the local market), 500 grams of mushrooms, 200 grams of soy sprouts, 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 chili, 3 cm of fresh ginger and a handful of fresh coriander. The black bean sauce is available in portions of 210 ml. I use probably 1/2 of a bottle. The other half can be kept in the fridge for a short-term period.

Clean the vegetables and put in different recipients. The ‘mise-en-place’ is really important in Asian cooking. A good wok pan on a proper fire can be so quick that you don’t want to ruin the dish.

Preheat the oven at 180°. Put the fish in the oven.

Heat the wokpan. Spread 2 table spoons of sunflower oil. Start with the beans. Bake and stir. After 10 minutes, add the onion and the mushrooms. Stir regularly. Add the garlic, ginger and chili. Bake and stir. Once everything al dente, add approximately 100 ml of the black bean sauce. Mix. Add the soy bean sprouts and the coriander.

Spread the fish on the vegetables and enjoy.

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