Black Bean Chicken (Dou Chi Ji Ding)

The original recipe from Liuyang, China was deep fried but the author chose to stir-fry the chicken instead in this cookbook. I agree even though I love fried food and the crispy chicken would add a nice contrast with the vegetables and sauce.

I enjoyed Fuchsia Dunlop’s first cookbook a lot so I bought the other two; I don’t think I will be disappointed. This recipe which I have adapted comes from “Every Grain of Rice” which won a James Beard Award. I do like my cookbooks, some people read novels and I read cookbooks, oh and garden books too 🙂 How people can just “pin” recipes and never pick up a cookbook I will never understand; but each to their own.

I am fortunate to have a few well-stocked Asian grocery stores so I have access to probably any Chinese ingredient I need. The author does give substitutes which might be easier to find in your local stores.

Experiment, have fun and I hope you enjoy this  Chinese recipe.

Black Bean Chicken

  • 8 oz. chicken breast (can use thighs)
  • 1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine or dry sherry is okay
  • 1-1/2 tsp. potato flour (cornstarch is fine, just double the amount)
  • 1 tsp. light soy sauce or Tamari – this is not what you might find called low-sodium
  • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
  •  red and green bell peppers (1/2 of each) cut into pieces the size of the chicken
  • 3 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced (could mince this)
  • same amount of ginger, peeled and sliced (I would mince it instead – fresh is a must)
  • 2 tbsp. fermented black beans, rinsed and drained (see comment below)
  • 1-2 tsp. ground chilies of your choice such as Tien Tsin (I buy this traditional Asian pepper whole and grind it up) you could also cut off the tips of these peppers so some of the seeds spill out giving some more heat
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onion cut on the diagonal
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil (you can buy toasted which adds a little more depth to this recipe)
  • extra soy sauce on the side garnished with green onion slices (optional)

Cut up the chicken into 1/2″ to 1 ” pieces, place in a bowl and add the next four ingredients.  Mix well and marinate for at least 30 minutes. I actually marinated them overnight.

Heat your wok (yes I have an electric one and not an authentic Chinese wok) to high. My electric needs 10 minutes to preheat. See Kitchen Gadgets – Breville Hot Wok. Add 1 tbsp. oil, the peppers and stir-fry until slightly cooked; remove and set aside.

Add the remaining oil and the marinated chicken and once they are almost cooked add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for another minute or two. The aroma just fills your kitchen with wonderful smells!

Add the black beans and stir, then add the ground chilies or dried chile peppers. Return the peppers to the wok. Continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the green onion slices; turn off the heat and add the sesame oil.

Comment: Fermented black beans are also called salted black beans and preserved black beans. They come in different sauces or just salted. I purchased them in a can and in the bag below. Once opened, rinse briefly and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

They are among the most distinctive Hunanese seasonings, especially when used with chilies. Would you believe they have been used in Chinese cooking for more than 2,000 years!

Recipe by 

This is week number 136 of the weekly Fiesta Friday parties. I will be stopping by to see what you have brought to the party so come join the fun. I am the only co-host this week along with our gracious host, Angie.

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67 thoughts on “Black Bean Chicken (Dou Chi Ji Ding)

  1. Judi, As I was drooling over your chicken, I am so happy that I have all the ingredients at home. Yum! Cannot wait to make it. I love the depth of flavor the fermented black beans lend.
    Thanks for sharing!


  2. I almost exclusively borrow cookbooks from our local library- lucky me, their selection is unbelievable! Much more exciting than a novel. 😉 Although I try to do some reading outside of recipes!
    This dish looks so colorful and tasty. Nice. Thanks for hosting FF this week!


    • Good for you Josette seeing how I am a retired librarian! I’m not into fictional books but I do enjoy reading biographies/auto-biographies of women. Right now it is “Going Rogue: An American Life” by Sarah Palin. I read about every woman I can no matter if I like them or not. This was written when she was John McCain’s running mate back in 2008. I always learn something of value… 🙂 By the way, I’m glad you liked the recipe!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, look at you Judi – love this Chinese recipe, the flavors sound amazing! The fermented black beans piqued my interest. You’re all set now with your Chinese and Indian spices. 🙂 Thanks so much for c0-hosting all by your solo self, you’re a trooper! Have a great weekend.


    • Thanks so much Loretta – my pantry is filling up with all of these new ingredients, both Indian and Chinese. I need more space 🙂 I love co-hosting as it is a good way to meet everyone and say hello. Enjoy your weekend as well.


  4. What a lively and colorful dish Judi, YUMM! I’ll have to see if any of the Asian sections at our local groceries carry those beans, as we don’t have an Asian market in town. I do love how quick a stir-fry comes together after all the prep is done, though.


  5. This looks and sounds delicious! I’ve never tried fermented black beans (I think). I’m not sure if my local supermarket has it but if not, I’ll head to China Town and look there 🙂 Thank you for sharing this!!


  6. Wonderful! When my mother went through her Chinese cooking phase she used fermented black beans occasionally. I have a jar in my fridge but I forgot about it. It’s such a unique flavor – thanks for reminding me! I also didn’t know that Ms. Dunlop had more than one book published!


    • Thanks – I feel like I am overdoing the Chinese recipes but with her three cookbooks it is hard not to want to make something new every day. These tiny, salted soybeans come in lots of different ways but they do add some depth of flavor to dishes. Some don’t store them in the refrigerator but wrapped well in a dark cupboard.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The black bean chicken looks absolutely delicious! I have black bean chilli paste. Can I use them or I will have to get fermented black beans?? Either ways, I am saving the recipe to try. I love the fact that it is healthy and so easy to make! Happy FF!


  8. This chicken sounds delicious and so flavourful. I love Every Grain of Rice as well! I think it’s probably the cookbook I’ve used the most. Have you tried the cold chicken dishes? They’re so great for using up bits of leftover cooked chicken…
    Thank you for cohosting FF this week Judi 🙂


    • Thanks – Of the three this cookbook and Revolutionary Chinese Cooking are my favorites – lots of good recipes. Not yet – that’s why I like her books you do not need much protein to add to a noodle dish or such. Any recipes you liked? My pleasure as I do enjoy getting to know FF bloggers better 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, I haven’t looked at any of her other cookbooks! I will have to take a look at your other favourite book. I do like a lot of her simple vegetable recipes–quick and always so delicious 🙂


  9. I just love how you are trying out these recipes that I’ve never heard of but look and sound delicious. Thanks again for hosting FF!


    • Thanks Julie – I have not made anything I did not like. Her books are full of delicious recipes. Now, I am getting a little more familiar with the ingredients and this way of cooking. You’re welcome – co-hosting is always fun.


  10. Thanks for the information on fermented black beans and how to use it. I have some boneless chicken and peppers in my fridge right now and wouldn’t mind trying this recipe of yours. The only ingredient I’m missing is the fermented black beans.


  11. Oh oh oh, yummy – just love it.
    I am following your blog and would like to know if you may be interested to be a Guest poster with us, and share some of your awesome recipes on our blog?
    Have a look at: and leave me a note in the comments of this post, with a link to your recipe, if you’re interested. That will be just fantastic. Hope to hear from you soon 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks – Fiesta Friday – that’s awesome and so well done. Hope you will be able to also share of your lovely dishes with us and be a Guest Blogger. Please respond on the link provided and then I will be able to track it and work from there. I am truly hoping that you will be willing to share of your recipes here with us. Thanks in advance for your consideration. Blogger hugs from The Recipe Hunter


    • cookingwithauntjuju – if you’re interested to participate, just drop me a comment on the Sharing is Caring link and I will showcase your recipe and blog as well. Looking forward to working together. ❤


  13. hi Judi
    Black bean chicken is one of my favourites when getting a Chinese but I have never made it myself! You are so lucky to have easy access to Chinese ingredients, I have to pre plan a trip when I need to stock up. This looks great and I will give it a go! 🙂


      • Hi Judi
        I tend to order the same things too with a few variations but I am sure I could create my own favourites at home and it would probably be healthier 🙂


  14. I’ve just been watching Emeril’s new food show on Amazon Prime, and he was looking at Shanghai and Korean food. It has me looking for more recipes from that part of the world, and this looks promising! I’ve never had fermented black beans before, I am intrigued! Thanks for sharing!


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