Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce Recipe from China

Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce Recipe from China
Region / culture: China | Preparation time: 45 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce
Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce is a savory and delightful dish that combines the tender textures of chicken with the crisp freshness of asparagus, all enveloped in a rich, umami-packed black bean sauce. This recipe is a testament to the fusion of flavors that can be achieved when traditional ingredients meet contemporary cooking techniques. Perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion, this dish is not only delicious but also visually appealing, with vibrant green asparagus spears contrasting beautifully against the succulent pieces of chicken.


The origins of Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce can be traced back to Chinese cuisine, where fermented black beans, known as douchi, have been used as a flavoring agent for over two thousand years. This dish is a modern interpretation that combines elements of traditional Chinese cooking with ingredients like asparagus, which may not be traditional but blend seamlessly into the flavor profile. Over time, it has evolved and been adapted in various ways, making it a popular choice in Chinese restaurants worldwide and among home cooks looking for an exotic yet accessible dish.


How to prepare

  1. Combine 2 tsp of cornstarch, 2 tsp of soy sauce, sherry, and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the chicken and stir to coat well, then allow it to stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Place the black beans in a sieve and rinse them under cold running water.
  4. Finely chop the beans and combine them with ginger and garlic, then set aside.
  5. In another bowl, combine the remaining cornstarch, soy sauce, chicken broth, and oyster sauce, and mix well. Set aside.
  6. Peel the onion and cut it into eight wedges.
  7. Separate the wedges and set them aside.
  8. Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.
  9. Add the chicken and stir-fry until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the chicken from the wok and set it aside.
  11. Heat the remaining oil in the wok, then add the onion and asparagus and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  12. Add water, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  13. Return the chicken to the wok.
  14. Stir the chicken broth mixture, then add it to the wok along with the black bean mixture.
  15. Cook until the sauce boils and thickens, stirring constantly.


  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken with tofu or tempeh and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. To add more color and nutrients, consider including other vegetables such as bell peppers or snap peas.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the chicken is tender and flavorful, marinate it for at least 30 minutes before cooking. For an even richer flavor, marinate overnight in the refrigerator. When stir-frying, make sure the wok or skillet is very hot before adding the ingredients. This will help to sear the chicken and vegetables quickly, locking in their flavors and textures. Lastly, when thickening the sauce, stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming and to ensure it evenly coats the chicken and asparagus.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this dish hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves for an added burst of flavor. It pairs wonderfully with steamed rice or noodles to soak up the delicious sauce. For a low-carb option, serve with cauliflower rice or a side of steamed vegetables.

Cooking Techniques

Stir-frying is the primary cooking technique used in this recipe, ideal for quickly cooking ingredients while retaining their texture and nutrients. Marinating the chicken beforehand helps to tenderize and infuse it with flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If fermented black beans are unavailable, black bean sauce can be used as a substitute. Tamari or coconut aminos are excellent gluten-free alternatives to soy sauce for those with gluten sensitivities.

Make Ahead Tips

The chicken can be marinated up to a day in advance, and the vegetables can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. This makes the final cooking process quick and easy, perfect for a weeknight meal.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the dish in a large, shallow bowl to showcase the vibrant colors and textures. Garnish with cilantro leaves and, if desired, a sprinkle of sesame seeds for an extra touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling pairs beautifully with the flavors of this dish. For a non-alcoholic option, a green tea or a sparkling water with lemon complements the meal nicely.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently in a skillet over medium heat, adding a little water or broth if necessary to prevent the dish from drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce contains approximately 250 calories, making it a moderate-calorie option that can fit into various dietary plans, especially when served with a side of whole grains or a light salad.


This dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the vegetables and the small amount of cornstarch used to thicken the sauce. A single serving contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake.


The fats in this recipe come mainly from the vegetable oil used for stir-frying and the natural fats found in the chicken. Each serving contains about 10 grams of fat, with a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats. Using a high-quality vegetable oil and removing any visible fat from the chicken can help keep the fat content in check.


Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce is an excellent source of protein, thanks to the generous amount of chicken breast used in the recipe. Each serving provides approximately 25 grams of protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly from the asparagus, which is a good source of vitamin K, folate, and iron. The chicken contributes B vitamins, essential for energy metabolism, while the fermented black beans add trace minerals such as magnesium and zinc.


The primary allergens in this recipe include soy (from the soy sauce and fermented black beans) and gluten (from the soy sauce). Those with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients can find suitable substitutes to accommodate their dietary needs.


Overall, Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It's relatively low in carbohydrates and calories, making it a nutritious option for a main meal.


Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce is a flavorful, nutritious dish that combines tender chicken and crisp asparagus in a rich, savory sauce. With its blend of proteins, vitamins, and minerals, it's a healthy option for any meal. This recipe is versatile, allowing for variations and substitutions to suit different dietary needs and preferences. Whether you're cooking for a special occasion or a simple family dinner, this dish is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the joy I felt when I first stumbled upon this recipe for Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce. It was many years ago, back when I was just a young girl living in a small village in the countryside. I had always loved to cook, and I would spend hours in the kitchen experimenting with different ingredients and flavors.

One day, as I was searching through an old recipe book that had been passed down to me from my mother, I came across a recipe that caught my eye. It was for a dish that combined tender chicken, crisp asparagus, and savory black bean sauce. The combination of flavors sounded intriguing, and I knew I had to give it a try.

I gathered all the ingredients I would need and set to work in the kitchen. As I cooked, the aromas of garlic, ginger, and soy sauce filled the air, and I knew I was onto something special. When I finally sat down to taste the finished dish, I was blown away by how delicious it was. The tender chicken, crisp asparagus, and rich black bean sauce all worked together perfectly to create a symphony of flavors.

From that day on, Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce became one of my go-to recipes. I would make it for family gatherings, dinner parties, and even just for myself on a quiet evening at home. Each time I cooked it, I would think back to that first time I stumbled upon the recipe and feel a sense of pride and joy at how far I had come as a cook.

Over the years, I have shared this recipe with friends, neighbors, and even strangers who have asked me for cooking tips. I have made small tweaks and adjustments to the original recipe, adding my own personal touches to make it truly my own. But no matter how many times I make it, the dish always brings me back to that first moment of discovery and inspiration.

I have learned so much from this recipe – not just about cooking, but about the joy of creating something delicious and sharing it with others. It has taught me to be adventurous in the kitchen, to not be afraid to try new flavors and combinations, and to always trust my instincts when it comes to cooking.

As I look back on all the memories I have created around this recipe, I am filled with gratitude for the simple joy of cooking and sharing good food with the ones I love. And I know that no matter where life takes me, Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce will always hold a special place in my heart as a reminder of the power of good food and the joy of creating something truly delicious.


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