Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Crispy String Beans with Pork

I bought these gorgeous purple yard-long beans at the farmers' market this week from Eli and Amanda at Chispas Farms. They are so sweet and crunchy, and they stay red when you cook them!


Here's one of my favorite ways to eat snap beans, that reminds me of when I lived in Honolulu. I was friends with a bunch of grad students from the meteorology department, who worked on the floor below me at the University of Hawaii, and we used to eat at this great Chinese place called the Dew Drop Inn. On the menu it was called Crispy String Beans with Pork, but you can make it with any ground meat and any type of snap beans you like.

2 Tbs oil
1 pound snap beans
1/4 pound ground pork, beef or turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs fish sauce (OR 1 Tbs mirin or dry sherry + 2 Tbs soy sauce)
red chile or cayenne to taste
1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger (optional)
2 green onions (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)

Wash the beans, trim the ends and dry them with a dishtowel. Cut them into 2-5 inch pieces. Get the oil very hot in a wide skillet on medium heat. Add the green beans and fry until the skins pucker and brown slightly, about 7-10 minutes. Remove the beans and set aside.

Add more oil to the skillet if necessary, and fry the garlic for a few seconds. Add the meat, break it up into small bits and fry without turning until browned, then turn once to brown the other side. Add the green beans and all remaining ingredients. Toss to coat everything evenly with the sauce, and remove from heat. Serve hot, with rice.

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