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Chicken Blackbean Sauce with Suzie Lee

Suzie is an accountant from Northern Ireland who was crowned BBC’s Best Home Cook in 2020. She’s been cooking since she was young when she used to help out in her family’s Chinese takeaway. Her cooking style is hearty family food served in very generous portions. 


Blackbean Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of dried fermented black beans soaked in boiling water for 15 mins-just enough to cover them (can be bought in your local Chinese Supermarket or online – very inexpensive, any leftover you can keep in your freezer for ages) – then pour off the excess water just before using
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • ½ thumb of fresh ginger minced
  • ½ chicken stock cube crumbled
  • 200ml-250ml water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • (1 tsp sugar is optional)

Put the above ingredients in a bowl and marinade for at least 15 minutes (Can marinade in advance and leave in fridge overnight) –

  • 600g-650g chicken thighs finely sliced (or chicken breasts)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp of cornflour
  • 1 tbsp of Shaoxing wine/or Mirin/or white wine (or you can leave this out and use water instead)
  • 1 medium onion cubed
  • 1 large red pepper cubed
  • 2b spring onions cut on the diagonal
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour and add water to make a paste (this is if you want a thicker sauce)
  • Basmati rice or noodles to serve



  1. Soak the blackbeans in the boiling water (just enough to cover them)
  2. In a pan add about 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and fry off the chicken till it is slightly coloured – do not cook it through – take out of pan and put in a bowl/plate
  3. Then in same pan, fry off the onions – you may need a little bit more oil. Add a large splash of water so that they cook and soften a little bit, also this helps to deglaze the pan.
  4. Then add in the ginger and garlic, fry for about a minute till you can smell their aromas and then add in the blackbeans and the crumbled stock cube. Fry this off for another min or so.
  5. Then add in the peppers and chicken and water and then let it bubble away for a couple of minutes, taste and adjust seasoning (it should be salty enough). If it is too salty, add a little bit of sugar or add more water to adjust the taste. Then add in some cornflour paste into the bubbling pan till the desired thickness. Then toss in the spring onions.
  6. Serve with basmati rice or noodles