Fish with Korean Black Bean Sauce - Wine Dine With Jeff

INGREDIENTS

  • 13 Oz of white fish I used Petrale Sole 1/2 inch thick fish
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
  • 4 Oz of shitake mushrooms sliced
  • 1/3 cup of a shallot diced
  • 1 Tablespoon of Garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh ginger minced fine or sliced matchsticks
  • 2 Teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 4 Oz sugar snaps
  • 1 Red pepper Fresno or Red Jalapeno deseeded Julienne cut
  • 2 Tablespoons of Korean Black Bean Paste **See description and picture below
  • 1 1/4 cup / 10 Oz of water
  • Salt to Taste

Directions

  • 1. If you have never tried Korean black bean sauce it is definitely a must. The sauce has this wonderful depth of flavor from earthiness notes to the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness. The Korean black bean paste is made of Soy Beans and wheat flour that is colored by caramel to give this amazing rich dark color. While Korean black bean paste may have been introduced by a Chinese merchant into Korea, it is different to Chinese black bean paste as it evolved to meet Korean’s taste buds. I like using a Fresno chili or red jalapeno to give a little spice to this well balanced dish. Start by choosing the correct fish for this sauce. The fish steams and cooks on top of the sauce so you want to choose a fish that is about 1/2 inch thick or just filet your fish into that thickness. I used a Petrale sole that is a Pacific flounder for it's light mild flavors and it already was the perfect thickness. Cut your fish into bite size pieces about 2 inches in width and length.
  • 2. After you finish cutting your fish into bit size pieces you want to velvet the fish. Velveting is a Chinese method of marinating which keeps delicate meat and seafood moist and tender during cooking. The main ingredient for velveting is corn starch. Add 1 egg white to a bowl and whisk the egg white to break it apart. Incorporate the fish into the egg white and toss to coat all the fish. Then add the corn starch and salt and set aside. This step of velveting helps hold all the moisture inside the fish while it cooks. Many times velveting also includes a vinegar but for my taste I don't like vinegar on this delicate mild fish. The fish only needs to set in the corn starch for as long as it takes you to cut up all your vegetables for the stir fry. A very important tip the stir fry cooks very fast and you should have everything prepped before you turn the burner on.
  • 3. **Korean Black bean paste a picture of the jar and the paste is right below. The paste should be thick and not runny like a sauce. You can look at the ingredients on the jar and it should list Soy Bean, Wheat Flour, Salt, and Caramel. There is many different black bean paste from Korean to Chinese you are looking for Korean for this recipe.
  • 4. Add Grape seed oil or high smoke point oil in your wok or fry pan and turn the burner onto Medium high heat. When the Oil starts to shimmer the oil is hot enough to add the shitake mushrooms. Remove the stems on the shitake mushrooms because they are chewy. I save them for when I make vegetable stock. Don't salt the mushrooms until after they have browned it will take around 5 minutes. Salting the mushrooms will extract liquid from the mushrooms and make it harder to brown. I would not salt past the mushrooms because the black bean paste is salty. My tip is to taste the sauce near the end and if you need more salt add it then.
  • 5. After 5 minutes and the mushrooms have browned add the onions and red chili pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the sugar snaps and toss everything around in the wok or fry pan keep stirring. If the wok is dry at this time you can add more oil before adding the garlic and ginger to the wok. It will only take 1 minute for the ginger and garlic to cook.
  • 6. After the garlic and ginger finished cooking add the black bean paste. you want to mix the black bean paste with the vegetables. Then immediately add the water and brown sugar and scape the bottom of the pan for any brown bits left behind. The sauce will look watery at this time that is ok it will thicken up when you add the fish. The corn starch on the fish will thicken up the sauce. when the sauce comes to a low simmer back the heat down and gently lay the fish on top of the sauce.
  • 7. The fish will take around 4 to 5 minutes to cook in the sauce. Very carefully flip each piece of fish over to fully cook. The fish is very delicate you don't want to do a brisk stir and break apart the fish. The fish will absorb that delicious black bean sauce. The sauce will be thick, rich and flavorful. Pour over your favorite rice and enjoy. I just love stir fry's because you can have dinner on the table in a matter of minutes.

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