Rockfish in Black Bean Sauce

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

A popular ingredient in southern China, black bean sauce is a thick, mildly salty sauce made from fermented black beans, usually lightly seasoned with ginger. It is sold in jars in supermarkets and Asian markets and is commonly used in stir-fries.


  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. minced ginger
  • 2 green onions, white parts minced and green tops thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. black bean sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 1/2 lb. rockfish or other lean white-fleshed fish fillets, pin bones removed and fillets thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch whisked together with 1 Tbs. water


Prepare the sauce
In a deep fry pan or wok over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the ginger and minced green onions and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the black bean sauce, broth and sugar and bring to a simmer.

Cook the fish and finish the sauce
Add the fish slices to the sauce and simmer until the thinnest slices begin to flake apart, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the fish to individual plates, leaving most of the sauce in the pan. 

Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce, raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the sauce is glossy and slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Pour the sauce over the fish, garnish with the sliced green onions and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).

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