Whats this in my Hunan Beef

Hunan beef from China Garden, It looks like a black watermelon seed. They only put about 4 in each serving. Good smoky taste. Can someone tell me what it is?

It might be the missing apostrophe from your thread title. I’ve dropped a few myself in my time. Never recall a “good smoky taste” to them, though. I must not be eating at the right restaurants.

I’ve wondered about this too - it has the consistency of a bean, but the shape of a raisin.

A braisin? Or perhaps, because of the forceful taste, a brazen braisin?

Black cardamom? Does it have a slight camphor/mint/herbal note to it?

I wonder why they specifically warn not to eat black cardamom as a snack, or uncooked.

It’s chinese black bean sauce.

Fermented black beans a.k.a. douchi?
Fits the braisin hypothesis.

I would bet on the douchi as well. You can usually find them as ‘salted black beans’ in any Asian supermarket in the spice aisle. It’s usually used with stir-fried meat and vegetables.

This would make more sense than black cardamom. I guessed black cardamom based on the smoky description, but it’s still pretty fibrous when cooked through, and one doesn’t normally eat the pods on their own. At least I don’t think one does.

Was I the only one who read the title as “human beef”?


Actually, they’re trying to disguise the fact that it’s really Soylent Green.

An Asian restaurant in Little Rock, Chi’s, stir fries celery in some dishes. I’m not sure why, perhaps it is an inexpensive vegetable.

Is it sichuan pepper?

I would expect it to be an ingredient in Sichuan Beef, not Hunan Beef, of course. :slight_smile:

I do it all the time. Not just the thread title; menus too.

Yeah, but you would order it, just to see what it was like and post about it.


You mean—that “soy” sauce we’ve been eating all these years—:eek:

Yep. Soylent sauce. I wasn’t going to say anything, since I like it so much.

I knew it! What’s next? “Sum Yun Gai” on the menu?