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Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts and Pork in Black Bean Sauce


Food Gal’s Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts and Pork in Black Bean Sauce

Serves 4 to 6


8 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
Canola or peanut oil, as needed
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 pounds small Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, and bulbs cut in half
4 tablespoons mirin, rice wine, Chinese wine or dry vermouth
2½ tablespoons jarred black bean sauce
¾ cup chicken broth mixed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


In a bowl of very warm water, rehydrate mushrooms for about 25 minutes until softened, then drain. Cut off and discard tough stems. Chop mushroom caps, and set aside.

In another bowl, mix ground pork with sesame oil, ground black pepper, soy sauce and garlic. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Heat a large frying pan or wok on medium-high heat with a little oil. Add pork, stirring frequently to break up the meat until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove meat to a bowl.

Add a little more oil to your pan. Add onion and ginger, and cook on high heat for two minutes or so until onions start to soften. Add mushrooms and stir. Next, add Brussels sprouts and mirin. Stir, cooking until Brussels sprouts start to get a little soft, but are still crisp. Stir in black bean sauce.

Return cooked ground pork back to the pan. Stir until pork is incorporated with the Brussels sprouts. Slowly pour in chicken stock-cornstarch mixture. Allow to simmer and thicken for a minute or two. Turn off heat, stir in cilantro leaves, and serve with steamed rice.

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25 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Kate

    This is such a great idea, pairing Brussels sprouts with black bean sauce and pork, and mushrooms, yummy. Great recipe and write-up!

  2. That’s how I like my brussel sprouts to be cooked, a quick stir fry with strong flavour instead of just blanched it to sogginess. Gong Xi Fa Chai to you and wish you a prosperous new year! 步步高升!

    • Thank you, Billy! Happy New Year to you and your family, too.
      Yeah, Brussels sprouts have spawned legions of haters only because people have overcooked them. They get mushy that way, plus smell up the whole house with that strong cabbage-y aroma. But cooking them quickly eliminates all of that. They stay crunchy on the outside, yet soften a bit on the inside. And no smell to worry about. ;)

  3. I agree completely. I”m sure most cooks appreciate a shortcut that does not skimp on flavor. A few precious minutes or hours gives the family cook an opportunity to enjoy life’s other pleasures – family, friends, and, yes, a little quiet time for the mind. I also second Stephanie’s request on your recommendation for the jarred bean sauce.

  4. JasonZ

    Hi Carolyn!

    Wonderful photos and recipe … but I wonder if you could also share with us your childhood recipe for black bean sauce, so when we do feel the need to “make from scratch”, we have a fab recipe to turn to …



    • I wish I could. But I’d have to go on memory for that childhood sauce. Let this be a lesson to everyone out there: Do not put off asking your Mom or Dad to write down your favorite dishes that they make. How many of us tell ourselves, “Yeah, yeah, yah — I’ll get to that some day.” Before you know it, time flies and then it’s too late to do it. My parents both passed away three years ago. I have but a handful of their recipes written down. I cherish each and every one of them, quite a few of which I’ve written about on my own blog, too. But what I wouldn’t give to be able to turn back the hands of time to be able to ask them to write down so many more. Sigh.

  5. Tuty @Scentofspice

    I’ve been reading Carolyn’s column for many years and still read her blog regularly.
    I agree that one should not feel less of a good cook when using pre-made sauce or seasoning mix.

  6. tony

    Hello Carolyn
    Thanks for the brussels sprout recipe, I have always wanted to marry something healthy
    in our asian dishes.
    Definitely one to try out.

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