Stuffed Peppers with Black Bean Sauce (釀青椒 – Yeung Chang Jeu)
This is a dish I make over and over because I love it that much. We usually don’t order it at dim sum because my mom made a better version. At dim sum, it typically comes with peppers, eggplants, and tofu, and hence the name 煎釀三寶 (jeen yeung sam bo). Today I’m only using peppers – hatch peppers! – even though bell peppers are often used. Hatch peppers were on sale at the supermarket and I had never had them so I thought I’d give it a shot. They’re very mild in heat as I didn’t even feel it. In university, a friend has made stuffed jalapeño peppers – now that’s hot!
- 4 large hatch peppers, cut in half and de-seeded, then cut into 3 chunks each
- Large container of fresh fish paste (~1.5 cups)
- 1 large spring onion, chopped
- 3 tbsp dried shrimp, rinsed, soaked 10min and chopped
- 4 dried Chinese mushrooms, rinsed, soaked 5 hours (or 1/2hr in warm water) and chopped
- 4-5 drops cooking wine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fermented black beans (豆豉), rinsed and minced
- 1/2 cup water or chicken stock
- Sauce: 2 quick lugs soy sauce, 1 tsp cornstarch, dash sugar, dash sesame oil, 2 tbsp water
Method 1 (I tried this idea from Christine’s Recipes today)
- Mix the spring onion, dried shrimp, and mushrooms into the fish paste with a sprinkle of sugar, 4-5 drops of cooking wine, salt and white pepper to taste.
- Using a silicone spatula, stuff the fish paste into the insides of the peppers, making the sides smooth with the edges of the peppers.
- Panfry the peppers, fish side down, on medium high heat until golden brown. Set aside.
- Panfry any leftover fish paste by making a cake out of it in the pan, ~0.5cm thick, and panfry both sides until cooked. Cut into bite-sized pieces with your spatula. Set aside.
- Add a small lug of oil and sauté the garlic and fermented black beans until fragrant. Add in the “sauce”, water/chicken stock, and the mushroom and shrimp water. Bring to a boil. Return the peppers into the pan and bring to a boil again. Turn down the heat and simmer for ~5min until the fish paste and peppers are cooked through. Add in the fish cake at the end and mix.
Method 2 (The way my mom does it that retains the crunch of the peppers)
- Rather than braising the peppers in the sauce, panfry the peppers on all sides until cooked through. Set aside. Panfry the leftover fish paste into a fish cake as above.
- Make the sauce by simmering the “sauce”, water/chicken stock, mushroom and shrimp water until reduced and thick. Drizzle on top of the peppers, or serve in a separate bowl so each person can get a spoonful each time they pick up a pepper.
- For the stuffing, you can use many different fragrant ingredients such as chopped coriander (芫茜 – yim sai), Chinese sausages (臘腸 – lap cheung), Chinese bacon (臘肉 – lap yuk), and even dried tangerine peel (陳皮 – chun pay) (soaked).
- In Seattle, you can find fish paste at Wong Tung Seafood in the International District. According to Yelp reviews, it may be the only place in Seattle that sells it!