I came home today and craved my favorite dish from my favorite Chinese restaurant. In Newton, there’s an amazing posh Chinese place called Bernard’s. Bernard’s is elegant and serves true Chinese cuisine. The best dish that they serve is that Chicken with Black Bean Sauce. It is served in a piping hot stone pot, almost bubbling over with black bean sauce and tender chicken. It is perfect over rice or noodles.
Anyway, I came home and really wanted this. Unfortunately that would cost me a train ride, a cab ride and probably 20 dollars to get to Boston and actually eat the meal. Since that’s obviously not feasible, I decided to make it myself.
Kosher Chicken and Ramen with Black Bean Sauce
2 pounds chicken breast, cut up into bite sized pieces or strips
2-3 tablespoons cornstarch to cover chicken
1/2 tablespoon chinese 5 spices mix
Buy ramen noodles at your grocery store and prepare as directed on the package
Black Bean Sauce
2 tablespoons of black bean sauce from the jar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup scallions, some extra for garnishing
To prepare the dish, start by cooking the ramen as directed on the box. You can really try any sort of asian noodles but ramen noodles are great because they absorb the flavor of the sauce and have a nice texture when eaten with a piece of chicken. They’re also squiggly and cute.
Cut the chicken up into pieces, and lightly cover with cornstarch and the chinese 5 spice. Don’t over spice the chicken- you can alway add more later.
In a pan with vegetable oil on medium heat, saute the scallions. After about a minute, add in the chicken. Toss the chicken in the pan until cooked through- 5-7 minutes. Start adding the ingredients for the sauce and mix well to make sure everything is well combined. Cut a piece of chicken to make sure it’s well cooked and take the pan off the heat. Mix the chicken, sauce and ramen together and enjoy.
When you serve the chicken and ramen, you can sprinkle some fresh scallions on top for color. I find that this dish tastes best as leftovers. Is that crazy? While I liked it fresh out of the pan, I enjoyed it even better about an hour later when I took it out of the fridge. I know that’s ridiculous but it’s true! Perhaps the flavors came together a little more. Who knows!
This dish was very easy to make kosher since there’s no dairy in it. Of course, you can use non-kosher chicken too. Even though I used chicken breasts, it might be fun to try a thigh or wing and bake them in the oven with the sauce. Get creative with it.
In the end, I really enjoyed this dish. It didn’t taste exactly like the dish from Bernard’s. I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to master Chinese cooking like them. Oh well. Either way, this is an easy one to pull off in your dorm room. If you’re scared of cutting up raw chicken, buy some precooked stuff and pour on the sauce. Also, it’s a much healthier way of enjoying ramen noodles. You know, compared to the ones with the flavor packet. ew.