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This comes from a wonderful cook and writer, Jill Dupleix. This is a pretty simple dish of green beans tossed in a wok with salted black beans and chile for a very quick vegetable side dish. It looks beautiful with the red and green. Salted black beans are preserved, fermented soy beans, available in bags or tins from Chinese food stores. They are quite pungent. If you make this without them, add 2 T oyster sauce instead.
- 1 tablespoon salted black beans
- 2 to taste ginger, peeled
- 300 g fresh green beans
- 1 sweet red pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1⁄2 small red chili pepper, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornflour, mixed with
- 1 tablespoon water
- Soak the black beans in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Cut the ginger into thin matchsticks.
- Top and tail the green beans if necessary, and cut in half lengthwise, on an extreme diagonal.
- Cut the sweet red pepper into thin strips, discarding core and seeds.
- Cook the green beans and red pepper in a pan of simmering salted water for 3 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water.
- Drain again, and pat dry with a clean towel.
- Heat the oil in a wok or fry pan, then add the garlic, ginger and chile, tossing well.
- Add the green beans and red pepper, and toss well for 2 minutes over high heat.
- Add the drained black beans, rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil and toss well for a further minute.
- Add the cornflour mixture and toss until the sauce thickens and coats the vegetables.
- Serve hot.
This tasty, unusual, and visually appealing vegetable side dish had a tangy piquant flavour which we enjoyed very much. Each mouthful seemed to invoke contrasting sensations in taste and texture. It is a dish to savour, and we will certainly make it again.
The flavor of the black beans and soy sauce seemed to overpower the green beans. This could be a personal preference, though.