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Dry-Fried Long Beans

Skinny, deep green long beans—also known as snake beans, yard-long beans and asparagus beans—will delight kids and impress adults. Look for them at farmers’ markets and Asian groceries, where they are often sold tied in bundles. Cut them into manageable lengths and cook them in a searing-hot wok until the skins wrinkle and brown in spots before adding any seasonings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 lb. Asian long beans, cut into 4-inch lengths
  • 2 Tbs. peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the broth, sugar and salt. Set aside.

In a wok or a large, deep fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until almost smoking. Add the beans and cook, alternately stirring them and pressing them against the wok, until the skin wrinkles and brown spots appear, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a plate.

Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the oil in the wok. Return the wok to medium-high heat, add the ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth mixture, return the beans to the wok, and cook until the beans are tender but still crunchy and the pan is almost dry, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper, vinegar and sesame oil. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).