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Stir-Fried Green Beans with Tamari Almonds

This fresh-tasting dish complements pan-seared shrimp or chicken. Tamari, like soy sauce, is made from soybeans, but without the wheat that soy sauce contains. It is thicker and has a slightly milder, but more complex, taste.

Ingredients:

For the tamari almonds: 

  • 1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce 
  •   
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths 
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 2 tsp. tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce 
  • 2 tsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry  
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil  
  • 1 Tbs. peanut or canola oil 
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced  

Directions:

To make the tamari almonds, spread the almonds in a small, dry nonstick fry pan. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, until the pan is hot and the almonds begin to feel warm. Sprinkle the almonds with the tamari and stir quickly to coat and toast slightly, about 1 minute. Pour out onto a plate and let cool.

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the green beans and salt and cook, stirring, until tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes; the timing will depend on the size of the beans. Drain well.

While the beans are cooking, in a small bowl, stir together the tamari, rice wine, sugar and sesame oil. Set aside.

Place a wok or large fry pan over medium-high heat until hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle and then immediately evaporate. Add the peanut oil and garlic and stir-fry just until the garlic sizzles, about 30 seconds. Add the drained green beans, a small handful at a time (be careful, as the beans will sizzle and oil may splatter), and toss and stir just until the skins begin to blister slightly, about 3 minutes.

Add the tamari mixture to the beans and stir to coat. Spoon into a warmed serving bowl and garnish with the tamari almonds. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).