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Extravaganza for the Senses; Chinese Long Beans

July 18, 2009

Chinese Long Beans with roasted spicy peanuts and a hoisin soy glaze. IMG_0483I am doing this dish tonight at the Los Angeles Extravaganza of the Senses fund raiser on the Fox Studios lot. In town? Come see me. This is a dish that reminds me how tasty green beans are. I always smile looking back to my upbringing in Chicago thinking that “green” beans was a funny name because they are always brown! Fortunately I have learned to cook them properly.

Long beans taste more “bean” than “green”. They have a really firm texture and deep, rich bean flavor. They love high heat or frying and become softer and nutty but they don’t loose their firm texture. As a result they eat like a meal by themselves. They are also great with pork or lamb. They will absorb almost any flavor you give them.

Really high heat, peanut and sesame oil, cut the 18” long beans into 2-3” pieces. Drop the beans in the hot oil along with a handful of peanuts and 3 chile arbol (chile flake chiles). Watch the beans and nuts turn golden brown, the chiles will char a little to give you that great “wok” flavor and look. Add a tsp of fennel seeds and let them toast for just a moment until you smell their mild anise, warm scent. They add texture as well as a “what is that” flavor that you love. IMG_0488A chopped garlic clove goes in and you turn the heat off. Add a ¼ C hoisin sauce and a ½ cup of soy sauce and toss. Watch the residual heat create a glaze of sweet, salty, heat around each bean. One bite and you know what I am talking about as the tender but firm bean carries a symphony of flavor into your mouth-sweet, hot, crunchy, rich toasted peanuts, mild, warm, anise aftertaste. Yum!  Enjoy.

Eat well, enjoy life, be happy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandi permalink
    September 25, 2009 9:30 pm

    Hi Jeffrey,
    It was really fun watching you at the cook-off last nite. Thanks for being so gracious with your time after the event to take pictures with the audience. I so enjoyed those Chinese green beans that you shared with us at the event, that I found your recipe here. I was curious about the volume / depth of oil you use to cook the beans in. I can’t wait to make them!!!
    Sandi

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      September 27, 2009 10:17 pm

      Thank you Sandi. It was my pleasure!! What a fun night. I use peanut oil and a touch of sesame oil. You are sauteing not frying so a total of 2 TB is plenty. Enjoy! Let me know how they turn out. Remember the key is to ;layer the flavors. make sure the beans have a little color before adding the peanuts then add the fennel seeds after that just to toast for a few moments then the liquids. Enjoy!

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