Chinese Black Bean Chicken

Pan-seared chicken thighs with fermented black beans, rice wine, and chilis.

This is a richly flavored Asian-inspired dish made with Chinese salted black beans, Shaoxing wine, bird chilis, and ginger marinated chicken.

Chinese black beans or douchi are fermented and salted black soybeans. They have a rich, salty flavor with a bit of funk from the fermentation. The beans are widely used as a sauce component in Chinese cooking with everything from lobster to spareribs. You can find the beans sold in packets or jars in the Asian food section of grocery stores. Avoid using premade pastes or sauces for this dish. They often have other ingredients that may change the flavor.

I typically rinse or soak the beans before adding them to a dish because of their saltiness. This step isn’t always necessary, depending upon the preparation and the amount of beans used. For this dish, the beans are the primary component and must be rinsed. Without rinsing, the chicken may be too salty.

Chinese Black Bean Chicken

Course Dinner, Main Course
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • 1/4 cup salted black beans rinsed
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp garlic grated
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 8 each chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 2 each bird chilis sliced thin reserve 1 for garnish
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 green onion sliced for garnish
  • sesame seeds as needed for garnish


  • Mix the rinsed black beans with the soy sauce, shaoxing wine, garlic, ginger, cornstarch, honey, and 1 bird chili. Add the chicken to the marinade and soak for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet with with oil over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers add the chicken. Sear the chicken until it has a golden color, flip over, and sear for 1 minute. Add the marinade to the pan, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken over a bed of rice and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with green onions, chilis, and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

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