Sunday, June 28, 2009

Asian Stir Fry with Black Bean Sauce and Cashews

This dish came together based on what we picked up from our organic CSA this morning. Bok choy is part of the cruciferous vegetable family and is thought to fight cancer. Some studies indicate that shitake mushrooms also exhibit cancer fighting abilities in addition to a great deal of flavor. Onions, garlic and ginger all contain high levels of antioxidants and are thought to fight cancer. Snow peas were included for crunch. The black bean and garlic sauce was included purely for flavor. Cashews were included for healthy fat and texture and color. If I had had a red or orange bell pepper I would have added that to the dish for color, flavor and beta-carotene.

The combination of flavors and textures in this dish is good. You could turn this into four servings if you add 2 cups of cooked brown rice or noodles to the base of stir-fried vegetables. I wanted to keep the nutritional content of the meal high and that is why I did not include brown rice or noodles.

Asian Stir Fry with Black Bean Sauce and Cashews
Serves 2


1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 head of bok choy, sliced
2 cups of snow peas
¼ pound of fresh shitake mushroom caps, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 inch of ginger, grated
2 tablespoons of black bean and garlic sauce (jarred sauce on the Asian aisle of the store)
4 tablespoons of cashews


Sauté onion in canola oil over high heat for two minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except cashews) and cook for approximately 5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Plate stir fried vegetables and top with cashews. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 345.51
Calories From Fat (43%) - 149.89

Total Fat - 17.39g
Saturated Fat - 2.3g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 1405.83mg
Potassium - 1588.09mg
Total Carbohydrates - 37.72g
Fiber - 11.53g
Sugar - 13.11g
Protein - 15.56g


The calorie count on this dish is very low considering the large quantity of food it made. If you want to reduce the fat you can easily eliminate the canola oil and use a little water to stir fry the vegetables. I had not initially planned on adding the cashews or I may not have omitted the oil. The fiber count, grams of protein and potassium in this dish are also quite good.

This dish comes together very quickly. I had everything prepped to go into the hot pan in about 5 minutes. The total cooking time was about 7 or 8 minutes. I love a dinner that I can pull together in less than 15 minutes from mostly fresh ingredients.

If you are unfamiliar with black bean sauce it is a wonderful sauce that is savory, salty and has a lot of umami. I learned to love black bean sauce in San Francisco and have been buying it ever since. If I decide to figure out how to make black bean sauce I will post it on the blog.


  1. your husband is very lucky! i need to try this recipe, thank you so much

  2. what it umami? alsi i am trying to stay away from msg, is your black bean sauce free of it? i cant really seem to find any

  3. dirty duck,

    The black bean sauce I use is by Lee Kum Kee. They have a website ( so you can check the ingredients. The label doesn't list MSG or monosodium glutomate so it should be fine. But please double check, MSG is one of the few things I am not watching. If you have an Asian market near you they sell fermented black bean paste in a tub so that you could make your own black bean sauce. That is one my list of things to do .... I just haven't gotten there yet.

    Umami is that savory, salty "something" that you taste frequently in Asian food. Umami is most commonly linked to soy sauce and aged cheese. I picked this up from a chef friend so hopefully I am using the term correctly.

    My husbands refers to me as his "personal chef", so I think he agrees with you. But I greatly appreciate the sentiment.



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