Beef & Black Bean Stir Fry

w6 beef with black bean_-2

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Beef & Black Bean Stir Fry

For some reason I resisted cooking with black beans for years. Then my Irishman made me his ‘famous’ chicken with black bean stir fry and I finally got it. Plus we had black beans in the house to use up! If you can’t find black beans, don’t worry I’ve got you covered in the variations below.

enough for 2-3
takes: 20 minutes

450g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons black beans (fermented asian style)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes
1 bunch bok choy

1. Heat a large wok or fry pan on a high heat. Add a few tablespoons of oil and beef.

2. Stir fry beef for a few minutes. Chop garlic and add to the beef.

3. Meanwhile, combine black beans, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons water. Wash bok choy and roughly chop.

4. When the beef is well browned, add the sauce mix and stir fry for another minute.

5. Add bok choy and cook, covered, stirring occasionally for a few minutes or until bok choy is wilted. Taste, season & serve.

Prepare Ahead?

I think this is best hot from the wok, but you could cook the beef first and reheat with the bok choy if you like.

Leftover Potential

Will keep in the fridge for a week or so.


no black beans? – no probs, you could replace with a commercial black bean sauce. Or just use an extra two tablespoons soy sauce instead and change the name to beef & bok choy stir fry.

carnivore – try different cuts of beef or even chicken.

vegan / vegetarian
– replace beef with crumbled firm tofu, lentils or a drained can of white beans for a black and white beans stir fry.

different veg
– feel free to play around with different Asian greens or add in other vegetables. Sliced red capsicum (peppers), carrots, green onions, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus or chinese broccoli are all good.

pescetarian – replace beef with sliced salmon fillets.

carb lovers / more substantial – serve with noodles cooked as per the packet or steamed rice.

paleo (grain, legume & dairy-free) – replace black beans and soy with coconut aminos.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

(ground) beef – freeze.

garlic, black beans, soy sauce, chilli flakes – pantry.

bok choy – keeps in the fridge in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Otherwise you could freeze it.

Problem Solving Guide

black beans? – replace with a commercial black bean sauce or skip all together and use a little more soy sauce.

burning on the bottom – the heat is probably too high, or you haven’t been stirring often enough. Add a little water to slow things down and help the bok choy steam.

bok choy too crunchy? – sounds like you haven’t cooked it for long enough. Next time cutting it finer may help. Adding a little water in to help the boy choy steam may also speed things up.

too dry – this is quite a dry stir fry which is relying on fat from the beef to keep things succulent. If your beef is very low fat the stir fry will be dry. Drizzle in some peanut oil or other neutral flavoured oil to soften things up. A little water may help too.

too salty?
– both the black beans and the soy are going to add a bit hit of salty goodness. So be careful before you season with anything else.

too bland?
– don’t forget to season. A little more soy may liven things up.

Serving Suggestions

Great as a meal on it’s own.

Or you could serve as part of an Asian banquet with another stir fry, some rice or cauliflower rice, and maybe a curry or two.

related links

cauliflower rice
steamed rice

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