You might think that I have lost the plot here. It isn’t the most attractive of recipe titles but, trust me, this new recipe of mine for boiled eggs with a lively black bean chilli sauce is GOOD. And it is simple and speedy too. I mean, we all love black bean sauce, right?
Fermented black beans, also called salted black beans or preserved black beans, are a Chinese staple. You can get them in most Chinese food shops, often with ginger. They are really inexpensive plus a little goes a very long way. I recommend that you all get some for your cupboard, you will find them indispensable on days when you want something speedy with a flavour punch. The work has all been done in advance for you with the fermentation of the beans.
These are superb in a speedy sauce with pork, they are excellent with clams and thin strips of pork belly too. I have used them with beef in a speedy Asian ragu that I had with rice noodles (fusion much?). These little black beans are super versatile. Treat yourself to some (they won’t cost you more than £2) and play around. They are easy to source online too if you don’t have a Chinese shop nearby.
Start here! Enjoy.
Recipe: Breakfast Eggs with a Lively Black Bean Chilli Sauce (Trust Me)
per person – although you might want 2 eggs, I did! So maybe double up :)
3 tbsp black beans
2 spring onions, chopped finely (white and green parts)
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp mild flaked chilli or one fresh mild chilli deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
light oil like groundnut oil
1 gorgeous egg
Soak the black beans in enough water to cover them for a few minutes, then drain. Heat a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic, spring onions and chilli if using a fresh chilli. After a couple of minutes add the chilli if using dried chilli, and allow to cook over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes.
In this time boil your eggs until just done. For me, and the eggs I like to use (Old Cotswold Legbars that are usually large but sometimes more medium), I add them to boiling water and take them out after 6 or 7 minutes. A trick I learned when I was a kid is that your eggs are boiled when the water evaporates off the shell immediately when you take them out of the water. Peel and quarter.
Stir the coriander leaves through the black beans, saving some for a garnish. Spread a little of the black bean mixture on the plate – those eggs can be slippy! – then place the eggs on top. Place the remaining black bean sauce on the eggs, gently with a spoon. Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves.
You will notice I don’t salt them, the beans season the dish plenty. But yours might be different, so taste first and then decide.