Made from fermented black soybeans, this staple Chinese condiment is off the charts on the flavor meter, packing a powerful punch of sharp, salty and spicy goodness. On its own it can be pungent, but when paired with a fresh catch that perfectly absorbs and balances out its strong flavor, black bean sauce turns into culinary heaven.
Little Village Noodle House on Smith Street is known for its Northern-style Chinese cuisine, which is often dressed up with a touch of American flair. On its menu, Sizzling Black Cod Steak ($28.95) is one of those dishes that showcases just why customers love the eatery’s homemade fare so much.
The fantastic black bean sauce, for starters, is made in house with plenty of garlic and a bit of spice. It’s slathered over a giant hunk of black cod, or sablefish, which is grilled and served sizzling at the table on a bed of caramelizing onions.
“When the black bean sauce hits the platter, it gives it this great aroma that fills the room,” explains general manager David Chang.
In addition to being a hit on the menu, the dish is a popular choice for larger parties and special events hosted at the restaurant, Chang says. Some guests like to order it all to themselves, while others share it among two to three diners.
Another key reason this entree is so delicious? “We tried other fish, but you just can’t beat black cod,” adds Chang, who recommends enjoying it with rice on the side. “The fish itself is very buttery and tender.”
After one bite of this melt-in-your-mouth white fish, don’t hold back on ordering some of the other favorites that have kept this restaurant booming in the heart of Chinatown since 2001 — including Garlic Butter Steamed Kauai Prawns, Orange Chicken and Salt & Pepper Pork Chops.