Spicy Green Beans

We have several Asian dishes that we like to cook at home, and accordingly, we have more than a few cookbooks that focus on Asian food.  I found this side dish recipe in one of our books — “Wok and Stir-Fry:  A Collection of Easy and Elegant Recipes.”  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the book on Amazon; sorry, no link.   I purchased the cookbook at HomeGoods a while ago for the low low price of $5.99.  (Kitchen Shopping Tip:  HomeGoods and stores like it — TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, etc. — can be great sources for interesting (and possibly out of print) cookbooks on the cheap.)  It’s a good book and we look forward to trying more recipes from it.  The ingredients for this green bean recipe are simple:  green beans, vegetable oil, dried chiles, garlic, ginger, and the white part of green onions.


The recipe called for slicing the green onions diagonally into thin pieces, but Dan just diced them.


For the “dried chiles,” we used some chiles that we found at our local Central Market.  I don’t remember what they were called, but the little sign said they were typically used in Asian cooking, so we figured they would work.  The recipe also calls for “1/2 tsp Sichuan peppers,” but we couldn’t find those (and don’t really know what they are), so we left them out.


Peel some fresh ginger and thinly slice several pieces.


At this point, we went off-recipe and decided to par-boil the beans for a few minutes before cooking them in vegetable oil.  The recipe calls for stir-frying the beans for about 5 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients, but we thought par-boiling them first would ensure that they cooked through.


Trim the beans and cut them diagonally into 3-4 pieces per bean.


Add the beans to the boiling water and cook them for about 3 minutes.  Then use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water to a bowl and set them aside.


Pour out the water and dry the skillet so you can use it for the stir-fry.  Add about a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat it over medium-high heat.


Add the beans and stir-fry them for about a minute.


Add the chiles and stir-fry for another minute.


Then add the garlic, ginger and onion and cook until they begin to soften — about 2-3 minutes.


When the beans are done, generously sprinkle with sea salt or Kosher salt.


We served the beans with a simple egg fried rice and an Asian-marinated grilled game hen.  The beans were spicy, with a nice bite from the onion and fresh taste from the ginger.  Cooking the chiles and their seeds with the beans added plenty of spice — we didn’t actually eat the chiles (and don’t recommend it, unless you’re really really into spicy food.)

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