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Wednesday, December 27, 1995 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Times Kitchen

Our Favorites Of 1995 -- Szechwan Black Bean Sauce With Beef

Seattle Times Food Staff

Recipes on this page were developed or tested by CeCe Sullivan of The Times food staff and were evaluated by staff members.

SZECHWAN BLACK BEAN SAUCE WITH BEEF 4 servings

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sake or vermouth, divided

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce, divided

2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided

12 ounces thinly sliced raw beef, cut into thin strips (see note)

2 teaspoons oil, divided

12 ounces green beans, trimmed

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered

5-6 small dried red chilies, or 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon Chinese salted and fermented black beans, rinsed (see note)

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Optional: 1/2-2 teaspoons hot chili paste

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Combine 1 teaspoon each sake, soy sauce and cornstarch. Add to the beef, stirring to coat. Marinate 1 hour in refrigerator. In a nonstick skillet set over medium-high, heat 1 teaspoon oil until hot. Add the beef in batches, stir-frying just until cooked through. Drain and set aside.

2. While the beef is marinating, cut the beans into thirds if larger, halves if slender. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the beans and time 5 minutes, until just done but still crunchy. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled. Pat dry; set aside.

3. Put the nonstick skillet back on medium heat with 1 teaspoon oil. When the oil is very hot, add the garlic and dried chilies; saute until blackened on one side and pristine on the other. Add the black beans and 1 tablespoon sake.

4. Combine 1 tablespoon each soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar and sugar. Add to the pan, bringing to a boil. Slowly add the chili paste. Dissolve the remaining teaspoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water. Add to the sauce with any juices that have gathered around the meat, stirring until lightly thickened. Stir in the beef and green beans, stirring until lightly coated with sauce. Stir in the sesame oil and serve.

Note: The Times Test Kitchen used beef cut for sukiyaki.

Note: Chinese black beans are found in Asian markets. A good substitute is the black bean-garlic sauce put out by the Sun Luck company; it can be found in the Asian section of major supermarkets.

Data per serving Calories 298 Protein 19g Fat 19g Carbohydrates 13g Sodium 408mg Saturated fat 7g Monounsaturated fat 8g Polyunsaturated fat 3g Cholesterol 57mg

From the Happy Palace Restaurant in Seattle.

Copyright (c) 1995 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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