When I’m cooking this at home, I often add a few chopped red chillies to spark things up. A lot of cookbooks advise you to wash the black beans, but I believe it takes away too much of their flavour. Look for balance – if this is too strong for you, add fewer beans. As a steamed dish, this fits well with a braise and a stirfry to create a wonderful shared table.
This recipe is from Neil Perry’s cookbook Balance and Harmony: Asian Food (Murdoch Books, $125, hbk).