Lamb with black bean sauce

Black beans impart an intense flavour to this dish, inspired by a classic Chinese recipe. If you are short on time you can use ready–made black bean sauce instead of soaking the fermented beans, although you will not enjoy the extra health benefits this way.

Lamb with black bean sauce


  • 2 tablespoons salted, fermented black beans, or
  • 1½ tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 500 g (1 lb) lean lamb fillets, trimmed and thinly sliced across the grain
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 French shallots (eschalots), sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup (90 g) sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons salt–reduced soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 1¼ cups (310 ml) salt–reduced lamb or chicken stock, or dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves


  1. If using fermented black beans, put them in a bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain well.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a wok or large non–stick frying pan over high heat.
  4. Add the lamb and stir–fry for 1–2 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  5. Remove to a plate.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a clean wok and add the carrot, shallots, chilli, garlic and ginger, and stir–fry for 3–4 minutes, or until they start to brown.
  7. Add the mushrooms and stir–fry for a further 2–3 minutes.
  8. Add the soy sauce, tomato paste, stock and fermented black beans or black bean sauce to the wok.
  9. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the sauce has reduced slightly.
  10. Return the lamb to the wok and cook for 1 minute, or until heated through.
  11. Divide the lamb among serving plates, sprinkle over the coriander and serve immediately.

Serves 4
Preparation: 10 minutes, plus 20 minutes soaking
Cooking: 25 minutes


Low Fat No Fat Asian Cooking

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