Fish with Black Bean Sauce

 I started a nutrition class the other day and I am enjoying it.  A lot of what I have learned so far is really information I learned in the past but it is nice to hear it again.

The timing is right because I have been trying to focus on eating better. Over the holidays, I got depressed. Out of character for me, I gained 6 lbs.  I am now at the second highest weight I have ever been, in my life.

Part of the class is a three day food diary. I am using My Fitness Pal to log my exercise and food. I am enjoying it. It has helped me focus more on the areas I need work.  My diet is still healthy but to get back to my “normal” weight, I have to focus on the part of my diet that can get me there. 

For instance, I eat a snack with raw cashews, olive oil and Sriracha chili. Well nuts and olive oil aren’t bad, but they do bring up my daily calorie count. For now I will moderate my snack.

Years ago I made a recipe I really enjoyed for Fish with Black Bean Sauce.  It calls for the use of fermented dried black beans. I used to be able to get a little jar of them at the grocery but I haven’t found them in years. Convenience has taken them off the shelf and replaced them with processed  prepared black bean sauce.

I have searched for them for years and finally went to the Asian store, H Mart and found them. What a great time to make this healthful dish.  I ran to my book shelf to grab the recipe in “Keep it Simple” to find out, it wasn’t in that book.

After running through my cookbooks, I finally found the recipe in   “Chinese Cookery” by Rose Cheng  and Michele Morris. http://www.alibris.com/Chinese-cookery-Rose-Cheng/book/1067788

I really enjoyed my meal and it was pretty darn healthy.  I did a few things different. I used whole fish filets of flounder. I didn’t cut them in pieces because flounder is very delicate and thin. They would have disappeared and overcooked. In fact, I adjusted the cooking time and just checked the fish until it was done. I steamed it for about 15 minutes.

I also did not put the fish in a baking dish. I put my metal vegetable steamer in the wok after spraying it with non stick spray. I put the fish directly on it.

I also forgot to dry the fish before adding the additional ingredients. That was a no no, so if you make it, remember that step.

If you don’t have an Asian store around, I found the black beans on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Mee-Chun-Salted-Black-Beans/dp/B0000D15WD/ref=pd_sim_sbs_gro_5

They smelled a little funky when I was chopping them, but they were delicious cooked. I served my fish with brown rice and stir fried broccoli and red bell pepper.  It made a very nice meal.
Hot jasmine tea might be nice with this or even ice tea(my choice). Then again you could try Bergamot Ice Tea Cocktail with it. I bet that would be good too. http://bakedbree.com/bergamot-iced-tea-cocktail Note: there is an error in the recipe. It isn’t sugar and sugar. It is sugar and an equal amount of water to make the simple syrup.

I hope you will try the Fish and Black Bean Sauce. I would love to hear what you thought of it.
Now I will just have to figure out what to do with the rest of the black beans!

Have a great week!

Fish with Black Bean Sauce

1 lb fresh white fish, boned, filets

1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons salty black beans, rinsed, minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
About 8 cups boiling water
 1 tablespoon chopped dried hot red pepper or shredded green onion

Cut fish into 1 ½ x 2 inch pieces. Mix marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add fish; mix well.
Let stand 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels (Remember this step!)

Add sesame oil, vegetable oil, sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch, black beans and garlic to fish marinade; mix well.

Pour 4 cups boiling water into a walk or large pot. Place fish pieces in a shallow baking dish in a steamer on a steamer rack over boiling water.Cover steamer or baking dish. Steam over high heat 20 minutes, adding more boiling water as needed.

Remove wok from heat and cool about 1 minute. Remove fish pieces and place on a small platter. Sprinkle with chopped red pepper or shredded green onion. 
Makes  4 servings.

Author: Chinese Cookery By Rose Cheng and Michele Morris HP Books