Shrimp with Black Beans

Shrimp with Black Beans

Seafood and fermented black beans are commonly combined in Cantonese-style dishes. It’s amazing how everyday ingredients take on a whole new character with just a little of this extraordinary seasoning. This family-style dish is not usually served at banquets. It is not considered elegant enough because the dark sauce covers the coral-colored shrimp. At home it is enjoyed with great relish.–Helen Chen

Shrimp with Black Beans

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 3 to 4
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  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with the side of a knife and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons fermented black beans, coarsely chopped


  • 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wine and cornstarch. Add the shrimp and mix well.
  • 2. In a wok or stir-fry pan, heat the oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Test by dipping the spatula into the shrimp mixture and then into the oil; it should sizzle. Add the scallions, ginger, garlic, and black beans and stir a few times.
  • 3. Mix up the shrimp mixture and add it to the pan. Add 2 tablespoons water and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp is opaque, about 2 minutes. Taste the sauce and add salt as needed. Serve immediately.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This delicious stir-fry is also ridiculously fast and easy. The recipe works perfectly as written. One tip I have to get the very best results is when you add the shrimp to the wok, don’t just dump it all in. Scatter the shrimp about the wok in a single layer. Let them sit still for a few seconds, then start stir-frying. I also like to very briefly brine the shrimp before stir-frying them. This only takes about 5 minutes, so it isn’t a big deal. Just fill a bowl with water, add some salt (I don’t measure, I just salt it like it’s pasta water), and let sit for 5 minutes or so. The exact time isn’t critical, but you don’t want leave them for a long time in the brine. This quick bath helps ensure that the shrimp stay juicy and succulent when exposed to the high heat of the wok.


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