Simple & Spicy Asian Green Beans and Mushrooms
This may sound weird but....I'm kind of a sucker for green beans. I know, I know. What could be so special about the little green spears that are too often served without any pizzaz? As far as I'm concerned, the veggie is totally underrated. Let me explain. Green beans are versatile. I mean, what other veggie tastes equally as delicious when it's been cooked for a few minutes or cooked for a few hours? I can't think of any.
One can cook green beans to death, in a pot with a lusciously fatty ham bone, and bam, they're the best, ahem, "healthy" southern side known to man. This happens to be my all-time favorite way to eat 'em but I may be a bit biased thanks to my late and beloved grandma's glorious southern green beans. So soft that they break apart with the slightest prick of a fork, they almost melt in your mouth with the divinely rich and salty pork fat. Okay, I'm making myself drool....over green beans.
You see, green beans are also pretty nifty because they can be stir-fried in just about any Asian dish and add that desirable quality of texture, a big, delightful, crunch. I'm pretty obsessed with eating them this way too. And that is why I am here today. Szechuan-style green beans have become a new staple in my home and I haven't heard any complaints yet. They're sweet, and spicy, and everything nice.
I must be honest with you. This was one of those weeknight creations that simply evolved from me having the right ingredients at the right time. A freak for Asian condiments, I put a little bit of this and a little bit of that...and they turned out just perfect the first time around. Then again, green beans are also awesome since you can't really screw them up.
With sliced mushrooms, fresh ginger and garlic, sesame oil, chile paste, soy sauce, and a touch of sweet chile sauce, these will be some of the best green beans your mouth has ever met. Oh, and be my guest, throw some thinly sliced chicken or beef in the stir-fry and throw it on some Jasmine rice. Ahhh, the beauty of a stir-fry. So quick and so gosh darn delectable.
Szechaun-Style Green Beans & Mushrooms
1 pound Fresh Green Beans, ends snipped
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 shallot, thinly sliced (red onion works fine too)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sweet chile sauce
1/2-1 tablespoon chile paste, depending on heat preference (Sriracha or Sambal, or combo of both)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1) Heat sesame oil over high heat in a wok or saute pan. Add the shallots and stir fry for one minute. Then, add the green beans and stir-fry for two minutes. Add the mushrooms.
2) Add the soy sauce, cili paste, and sweet chilie sauce. Mix well while stir-frying. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the sesame seeds.
3) Plate. Serve with Jasmine rice and protein of your choice. You can easily prepare this with chicken, beef, shrimp, etc. Chicken or beef will need to stir-fry for about 5 minutes before green beans are added while shrimp can be added to the pan along with the green beans.