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Spicy Green Beans

2011 June 8
by Mrs. FoodieLawyer

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.

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

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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.

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Peel some fresh ginger and thinly slice several pieces.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Add the chiles and stir-fry for another minute.

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

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

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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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