Prep 20 mins
Cook 6 mins
A brilliant combination of authentically Cantonese tastes and textures. The beans are crisp and sweet, the squash is spongy and earthy and the mushrooms are light, yet elastic with a subtle flavor. Quickly stir-fried together they make a unique dish to serve as a main curse or alongside a meat dish. Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as part of a multi-dish Chinese style dinner. Chinese long beans are just thinner and longer than regular green beans, so regular green beans are a perfectly acceptable substitute. Silk squash is also known as luffa, dishwater gourd, and Chinese okra. It's dark green and looks like a thin zucchini and has a sweet, but very mild taste, similar to cucumber. It's a bit hard to come by, but zucchini and cucumber are both okay substitutes. Cloud ears are also known as black fungus, tree ears, and jelly mushroom. It has a very, very mild flavor and is used in most dishes for its texture. They're easiest to find sold dried and packaged (looks like dried, black, wrinkled paper), and must be soaked in warm water before use. When soaked in water for about 10 minutes, it swells and resembles wavy seaweed or jelly.
- 1 ounce cloud ear mushrooms
- 1⁄2 lb chinese long beans or 1⁄2 lb green beans
- 1 lb zucchini or 1 lb silk squash
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons gingerroot, peeled & finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine or 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
- Soak the cloud ears in warm water for at least 15 minutes, then rinse several times in cold, running water to remove any sand.
- Drain thoroughly and set aside.
- If you're using Chinese long beans, trim the ends and cut them into 3-inch long pieces or if you're using green beans, trim the ends and cut them in half.
- If you're using silk squash, peel off the tough outer skin or if you're using zucchini, chop off the ends. Either way, cut the vegetable at a slight diaganal into 2-inch pieces.
- Heat a wok or large skillet until it's very hot, then add the oil.
- Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and beans, and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add all remaining ingredients and cook uncovered until the vegetables are tender (5 minutes).
- Serve immediately.