Monday 23 August 2010

Chinese style Fried Blistered Beans

French beans are in season right now and we are harvesting lots of wonderfully long beans from the garden.  My absolute favourite way of cooking them is to fry them Chinese style until they become blistered and wrinkly.  Done this way, the beans will taste impossibly sweet and develop complex flavours which are remarkably different from steamed or boiled beans.

This is meant to be a 'dry' dish so the soy sauce is used sparingly at the end, so that you can savour the sweetness of the fried beans which will be highlighted by the slight saltiness of the soy.

Serves 2, as an accompaniment with rice and other meat dish

12 French beans
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of Dark soy sauce

Wash then pat dry the french beans.  Trim and cut into pieces.

Add the vegetable oil to a wok on medium heat.  Add the garlic, salt to the wok and let sizzle.  Then, add the beans to the wok.

Keep moving them around so as not to let them burn.  If the garlic starts to brown, remove from heat to prevent it from burning.  It will take about 7 to 10 minutes for the beans to go wrinkly and for the skin to slightly blister.  If they still haven't turned wrinkly after this time, you'll need to be patient and wait until they do.  Don't be tempted to turn up the heat too much, or you'll end up with burnt beans.

Remove from heat when done, and drizzle a few drops of dark soy sauce over the top.  (Important note: this is meant to be a 'dry' dish, so its best not to drench the beans in soy sauce as this will completely drown out the flavour of the beans.)

Tip: You can also add beef or pork mince to this dish.  This should be cooked separately and combined together at the end.

100g ground minced beef or pork
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons of oyster sauce or soy sauce
Salt & Pepper

Add the vegetable oil to a wok on medium heat, followed by the mince.  Add seasoning such as sesame oil, soy or oyster sauce, salt and pepper to flavour the mince and cook through until there is no liquid remaining.   Remove from wok and set aside.  Remember to drain any liquid remaining from the mince, as this is a 'dry' dish.

Now, cook the beans as above.  At the end, add the mince back into the wok and mix through.

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