Long Beans with Chili Garlic Sauce (serves 3 as a main dish)
- 1 1/2 lbs Chinese long beans, washed, trimmed and cut into inch-and-a-half pieces
- 1/4 C vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 Tbs dry sherry
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- heaping table spoon of chili-garlic paste
- 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or red pepper powder
- 1 tsp, plus 1 Tbs vegetable oil (peanut would probably work well too, but be advised that you may taste the peanut a bit)
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- Cooked rice
- Chopped green onion for garnish
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the garlic, red pepper, and 1 tsp oil.
3. Heat the remaining Tbs oil in a wok on high heat. When just beginning to smoke, add the beans and sprinkle with the sugar, stirring constantly. Cook for about 3 mins, until the beans begin to wither but maintain their crispness.
4. Add the garlic mixture, incorporate well, cook for <30 secs. Don't let the garlic burn.
5. Add the broth mixture, stir constantly, as broth thickens, about 45 secs.
6. Serve over rice and add green onion for garnish.
Kitchen Notes:BE CAREFUL INHALING WHEN MAKING THIS DISH! It is very spicy, and will make you cough. I like my food spicy, but this meal will still have a lot of flavor if you half the heat. I used basmati rice, simply because I had some to use up, but I don't recommend it, as the gentle flavors of the rice get lost in the heat of the sauce. I think that yaki soba noodles may be beautiful here, and will probably do that with some of the leftovers. The raw beans have a bitter smell when cut, so I imagine the sugar sprinkling is an important step to limit bitter flavor in the finished product.
Verdict? I am not usually texture averse, but the beans were too chewy and squeaky for me. I think they'd work better in a meal where they weren't the focal point, but mixed with many other vegetables. The flavor of the sauce, is terrific, and I can say from experience, goes great with broccoli. I think that typical green beans would work fine too--the beans absorbed the sauce perfectly.