Loooong

Long beans in ginger sauce

I’m incredibly uninspired today, mostly because I spent all day trying to be a computer geek and install a linux virtual machine. Who needs 276 updates ever? Ok — except Windows.  But there’s a recipe, of course, to go with my boredom-fueled post, featuring this baby right here:
Impressive

No, I’m not growing green beans on top of my lab (though it’d be an awesome place for a garden). These are “yard-long beans”, which taste kind of like green beans, but without the sweet aftertaste. And while I’d love to spin some tale about how you MUST try these now, I’m not convinced myself — it would be an utter lie. Not even so much because of the flavor, but because these guys seemed to go from squeaky to mushy in no predictable fashion. They are kind of cool looking, though — like Rapunzel beans. Luckily, this recipe WILL work for normal green beans or haricots verts. So if you need a little somethin’ to dress up your veggies, give it a try.  If only because you too can then photograph your food growing colder by the second, as you line up your camera and try your best to bring out your inner “artiste.”

ooh, artsy

Or you could just eat up.

Long beans in ginger sauce

Serves 4 as a side dish.

This is adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Land of Plenty, which is a pretty good source for Sichuan Cooking, and is well written to boot. I really should post a better recipe from this book, because everything I’ve tried has been great, but James liked this one, so don’t take my criticisms too seriously. I think I just don’t really like long beans … Funnily enough, she uses haricots verts in her version, but says long beans are more traditional.

  • ~1 lb. long beans, sliced into 2″ sticks, or about the same weight of green beans or haricots verts
  • sesame oil, to taste. If you have a stronger sesame oil, you may need a bit less than the 4 t. originally called for, so I’m not even going to bother giving
  • 1 T. chinkiang vinegar – a rich, dark Chinese rice vinegar. It’s good stuff; if you can find some at your local Chinese market, pick it up. If not, you can sub in regular rice vinegar, but it won’t be as good.
  • 2″ segment of ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • touch of soy sauce, or salt
  • 3 T. chicken stock or water
  • sprinkle of black sesame seeds (my addition)

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Toss in the long beans and cook for two or three minutes, until they’re tender but still firm.  Mix all remaining ingredients together and pour over the beans. Serve.

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Filed under China, quick meals, side, yard-long beans

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