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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Black Bean Chicken and Bell Peppers Stir-fry

Loving bell peppers is easy when stir-fried with chicken and black bean sauce.

Black Bean Chicken and Bell Peppers 1

When I was younger, there were certain vegetables that I didn’t care for—bittermelon, celery, watercress and bell peppers (specifically green bell peppers). These vegetables tasted bad to me except for watercress (that one I just didn’t like because it was so stringy—we mainly had it in soups and I could never chew it enough to swallow it).

When I met Nate, he had his own food dislikes but they didn’t match mine. I was incredulous that he didn’t like mayonnaise, bananas, and asparagus. Those were all things that I loved. So it didn’t come as too much of a surprise to me that the things he loved, I didn’t - especially bell peppers. And this particular dish of stir-fried chicken with bell peppers in black bean sauce is one of his favorites.

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

Thankfully these days, I am just as fond of bell peppers as he is. I do think that what Jeffrey Steingarten had to say about trying something many times before saying you dislike it is true. As I’ve eaten bell peppers (and celery and bittermelon), I’ve actually come to like them. And once I discovered the colored bell peppers (red, orange, yellow), I totally fell in love with them. They are so sweet and delicious.

This particular dish really brings out the best in bell peppers—they stay crunchy and their sweetness is accentuated by the saltiness of the black bean sauce. I just love this dish and I also love the fact that it is such a simple meal to fix up! It doesn’t hurt that Nate loves this dish too so whenever I make it, he always has an extra helping of rice to go with it.

Black Bean Chicken and Bell Peppers Recipe

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise, then sliced medium thin
1 yellow onion, large diced
3 small bell peppers (one green, and the other two colors are up to you), large diced. If your peppers are very big, just use two or half of each.
1 heaping Tbsp black bean sauce
1/2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
freshly ground black pepper

chicken and bell peppers

Black Bean Garlic Sauce

black bean sauce

Method:
1. Heat up the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add garlic and onions and stir-fry for about a minute. Onions should still be firm.
2. Add chicken breast, black bean sauce and sugar. Toss around until chicken is coated with sauce and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.

onions chickens black bean sauce

3. Add the bell peppers. Stir it around till coated in black bean sauce, another 1-2 minutes.

peppers chicken onions

4. Taste and adjust seasonings—if needed, you can add a little bit of soy sauce (but black bean sauce is salty already so make sure you taste first). Add your black pepper.
5. Plate up and serve with rice.

Black Bean Chicken and Bell Peppers

black bean chicken and peppers

Enjoy!

Cheers, Annie

Do you have foods that you didn’t like before, but love now? Leave a comment and tell us!

 

This post featuring bell peppers was entered in the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup #218, hosted by The Crispy Cook and organized by Haalo.

Hungry for more stir-fries? Click below:

Simple Tomato Stir-fry

Cooking with Leafy Midin (Fiddlehead Fern)

Stir-Fried Green Beans with Savory Tofu and Peanuts

Five Quick Asian Dishes: Stir-Fried Beef with Ginger and Egg

Vegetarian Chap Chye (Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables)

14 Comments:

Urban Breadmachine said...

I never used to like bell peppers either until I started eating more fresh vegetables. My mother looked at me eating raw red bell pepper with hummus recently and said "how do you eat that PEPPER RAW???" :)

Onions took some working up to as well. Started with cooked sweet onions and then worked my way up slowly from there. My husband made a Vidalia onion pie in our early dating days, and I thought he was off his rocker, but now I'd eat it!

Carolyn Jung said...

I still have not grown to love the taste of bitter melon. My whole family eats it except for me! I once had to make bitter melon soup for a photo shoot. I ended up giving the big pot of soup to my parents because there was no way I could bring myself to eat it. It's funny -- so many other things in life I've grown to love after initially not liking them. But not bitter melon!

Milo said...

I still don't like green bell peppers... but I do like the yellow orange or red ones. The green ones not only don't taste good to me, but are hard on my digestion. I am loving your blog and your pictures!

Candi said...

I remember when we were kids, my parents would order a supreme pizza with all the toppings my brother and I would pick everything off except the pepperoni! I didn't like onions until I watched Food Network and learned how to caramelized them. I can eat them now, but not raw. I love yellow and red bell peppers raw but not cooked. Weird I know!

Amedy said...

Looks good can't wait to try it

Tuty said...

I used to hate cilantro... but now I don't mind them at all.

Before I met my husband, I stayed away from curries 'coz I thought they smelled like "jamu" (Javanese herbal concoction). Now, I can't get enough of them.

I am still gathering up my courage to try bitter melon :-)

smile4me8p said...

It's good to see you're putting the Black Bean Sauce to good use ;).

cavemancooking said...

That looks incredible, Nate. Love the red bell peppers!

Food For Tots said...

It reminds me of my mother's cooking. So homey! My hubby dislikes green peppers. Thus, I only cook red and yellow peppers for my family. But do sneak some green peppers into my dishes once a while.

Rachel said...

Thanks for sending this colorful and tasty post over to Weekend Herb Blogging. I hope to have the roundup posted on Monday.

And thanks for inviting me to join in GYO in January. I did not get a chance to join in the fun this month but hope to get a February GYO post in.

momgateway said...

I just submited my Jan 2010 GYO entry through your contact me page. Just wanted to make sure you receive it so here's the link: http://momgateway.blogspot.com/2010/01/pea-salmon-coconut-milk-onigiri.html

tiny houses said...

I haven't really tried black beans in my dishes. I think this is a new addition in my pantry. I hope my family will also like it.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@all - thanks for your comments!

@Urban Breadmachine - raw red bell peppers are so sweet! Delicious in salad.

@Carolyn - I guess it was never meant to be. ;-P

@Milo - thanks! I promise not to cook with too many green bell peppers on this blog. ;-)

@Candi - like many vegetables, they get sweeter when cooked. I have a hard time with raw white onions but caramelized on top of steak - that's easily consumed! :-d

@Tuty - I agree, bitter melon takes some getting used to. But we have a couple of recipes that might change your mind.

@Smile4Me8p - thanks!

@Caveman Cooking - thank you!

@Rachel - green peppers are basically unripe colored peppers, so no wonder they don't taste as good.

Look forward to your entry next month!

@Momgateway - don't forget to send a pic!

@tiny houses - do try this dish out. I'm sure they'll love it!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I use this same black bean garlic sauce. It's such a wonderful condiment. I always keep some in my pantry.