String Beans in Black Bean Sauce

Apr 10 07:15 2008 sanjeevkumar Print This Article

The green bean has a long, slender green pod with small seeds inside. The entire pod is edible. It's also called string bean (because of the fibrous string — now bred out of the species — that used to run down the pod's seam) and snap bean (for the sound the bean makes when broken in half). The wax bean is a pale yellow variety of green bean. Green beans are available year-round, with a peak season of May to October. Choose slender beans that are crisp, bright-colored and free of blemishes. Store in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to 5 days. Cook gently by steaming or simmering just until tender-crisp. Green beans have a fair amount of vitamins A and C.

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes only. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water. Heat the butter and oil in a very large saute pan (12-inch diameter) or large pot and saute the shallots on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes,Guest Posting tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Drain the string beans and add to the shallots with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, tossing well. Heat only until the beans are hot. If you're using regular string beans, blanch them for about 3 minutes, until they're crisp-tender.

This is my first official experiment in my quest to create accessible, simple recipes for those who are new to cooking Chinese foods, and it came about because I had a piece of beef top round thawed that needed to be cooked. I also had some string beans and a sweet red bell pepper sitting about in the crisper drawer, so I decided to cook them all together.

Most often, stir-fried beef is paired with oyster sauce and broccoli in Chinese-American restaurants. It can be a great combination; the slightly bitter edge of the broccoli pairs well with the strong flavor of the beef, while the oyster sauce tames them both and gives an oceanic fragrance to the entire dish. That is, if it is executed well. If it isn’t, the dish turns into a brown-sauced gloopy mess filled with oil and lackluster in flavor.

In this dish, I eschewed the oyster sauce, and instead, decided to use the minimal flavorings of Shao Hsing wine and dark soy sauce paired with a tiny bit of sugar, and a dash of rice vinegar then finished with a kiss of sesame oil. For the aromatics, I used a lot of ginger; I find that the assertive floral fragrance perfectly freshens the strong flavor of beef. I also used scallions and an optional fresh chile pepper, just to add a tiny spark of heat.

`As for the beans, because I wanted them to be tender crisp, and I wanted them to take in a bit of the flavors of the sauce, I decided to blanch them before tossing them in the wok. This step is simple, fast, and helps soften the outer skin of the beans a bit so that they stir-fry faster and also absorb some of the flavors in the wok more readily. All one needs to do is to bring a pot of water that will hold all of the beans to the boil, dump the beans in, give them a stir, and let them cook for about two to three minutes, or until they just brighten in color. Then drain them, rinse in cold water and drain until you are ready to cook. Ready you are String Beans.  Please visit in the site extra details.

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