I’m back! I know I’ve been gone longer than usual and I’m sorry for that, but the past few weeks have been difficult and busy to say the least. Without going into too much detail, I’ve spent some time focusing on my other web site, created a 116 page blurb book (which had to be done in time for Christmas), and dealt with a family member’s serious illness. In the process, I learned more about the current state of US hospitals and the medical system than I ever wanted to know. Suffice it to say, here’s to hoping 2010 will be a less chaotic and stressful year!
This recipe is a quick and easy side vegetable for many Asian themed meals. The last time I made it, served it alongside some thai curry with shrimp, but it could easily go with a Chinese style stir-fry.
Long beans are also known as “Chinese Long Beans” and “Yard Long Beans”. They can grow up to 3 feet long, but are picked and sold somewhere between 12 and 18 inches in length. Often you will see them in Asian markets in 1 lb bundles. While they taste somewhat like a green bean, they are more flexible and thinner. Look for beans that are a bright, dark green and thin and flexible with no spots. Cook them very quickly because when they are over cooked they can get mushy.
The fermented black bean paste can be found in most grocery store’s Asian food section along with the chili sauce. The black beans are soy beans which have been preserved in salt; they add a very distinct, pungent flavor, but are very salty so don’t over do it.
1 lb long beans
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
1/2 shallot, sliced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp fermented black bean paste
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 Tbsp roasted cashews
juice from 1/2 lime
Trim the ends off the long beans and cut into pieces. I cut mine into 5″ lengths. Mince or slice the garlic cloves and thinly slice the shallot. Mince the ginger. Have all the other ingredients ready because this dish cooks fast.
Heat a wok or large skillet, and add the oil. Toss in the garlic, shallots and ginger. Quickly stir fry for about 1 minute.
Add the beans to the pan and stir-fry them for 1 minute. Add the black bean paste and the water and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the chili paste, the lime juice and the cashews. Toss to combine and serve.