Put on a new spin on a traditional fajita with my Black Bean Chicken “Fajitas” recipe. The trick is I swap out the customary flour tortilla for moo shu wrappers. Also called moo shu pancakes, this Cantonese staple is in most grocer’s freezer section, at the local oriental market, or you can make some from scratch easily. Lightweight and delicious I fill these moo shu wrappers with rich spices like ginger and sambal, and fermented black beans. Unlike the black beans you typically see in mexican-style dishes, these are actually soybeans that have been dried and fermented with salt for greater flavor.
To keep your work-space under control I suggest using a cutting board with magnetic knife stations to minimize mess. You’ll know where your knife is at all times too which is nice incase you’ve got more than one cook in the kitchen or little feet running around.
- 2 tablespoons Cilantro Oil for cooking, plus additional for garnish (see below)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fermented black beans
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 red onions, cut into 1/4- inch slices
- 1 teaspoon sambal (optional)
- 4 chicken breasts, skinned
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 avocado, cut into ½- inch slices, tossed with lime juice (one wedge)
- 8 moo shu wrappers or flour tortillas, steamed hot
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a grill or griddle pan coated lightly with cilantro oil over high heat, sauté fermented black beans, ginger, and onions until caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes. If you don’t have a grill pan your favorite frypan will do the job this time around. If you would like the dish spicier, add sambal. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
2. Slice the chicken into cut into ½- inch strips, and slice the bell pepper into ¼ inch slices. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add bell peppers and toss. Check again for flavor.
3. Serve immediately: take a hot moo shu wrapper, add chicken-onion-pepper mixture, top with avocado and a squeeze of lime juice, roll tightly, place on plate, top with a drizzle of Cilantro Oil. Makes enough for four to enjoy.
- 3 bunches cilantro, washed, spun dry, leaves picked
- 1/2 cup packed spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups grapeseed or canola oil
- Kosher salt to taste
1. Prepare an ice bath with a strainer. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, then salt the water until it tastes like sea water. Add the cilantro and spinach and blanch for 2 minutes until soft but still very green. Immediately, transfer to an ice bath and chill.
2. Squeeze out all excess water and transfer to a blender. Add sugar and blend on high speed, adding the oil in a steady stream. Puree should be green and smooth. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and check for flavor. Store Cilantro Oil in an airtight jar; makes 2 cups.
The cilantro oil in this recipe is a flavor force to be reckoned with! I like to make extra and keep it for a marinade, drizzled on fish, or mixed with vinegar for a dressing. Stored in the fridge the oil will last about 2-3 days.
What else would you add to this dish to put your signature on it?