Sunday, October 14, 2007

Long Beans with Crispy Garlic and Shallots

Sexy reader James has requested that I put up a recipe which doesn't involve soy sauce so here it is. Before we get to the actual recipe, I feel that I should introduce long beans. Here's a picture: and here's a link if you want more info: Click here.
I happen to really like long beans because they retain a toothsome texture even when cooked. However, if you can't find long beans in your local market, feel free to use green beans. And if you hate green beans...well, go read another blog.

You will need:
7-8 cloves of peeled garlic
3-4 shallots
About 1/2 lb. of Long Beans
La Jiao Jiang or Chopped Chiles (optional)
Leftover Chinese Meat Sauce or Ground Pork

Thinly slice the garlic into slivers. Peel and slice the shallots into 1/4 inch thick slices. Set aside. Here's what mine looked like:

Take the long beans and cut off the tips and tails. Slice into 1/2-1 inch long pieces.

Pour a 1 inch thick layer of oil into you cooking vessel. Allow to heat up. Drop the garlic into the oil and fry until golden brown. BE SURE NOT TO BURN THE GARLIC AS IT WILL TASTE HORRIBLE. IF YOU BURN YOUR GARLIC, THROW IT OUT AND START AGAIN. When the garlic is ready, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a papertowel-lined plate. Add the shallots and fry until crisp. Keep an eye on them. Remove from the oil and place on the plate next to the garlic. At this point, the shallots will sorta taste like Funyuns. You will notice that I have not given timings for this step because I WANT YOU TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE GARLIC/SHALLOTS WHILE THEY ARE IN THE HOT OIL BECAUSE BURNT GARLIC/SHALLOTS TASTE AWFUL!

Pour out all but two tablespoons of oil. I like to reuse the fry oil because it's got a nice, light garlic/shallot flavor to it. Heat the oil and add (if using) 3 teaspoons of La Jiao Jiang. Stir fry for a few seconds and then add 2-3 tablespoons of leftover meat sauce or ground pork. Stir fry until the meat is no longer clumpy and mostly cooked through. Toss in the chopped long beans and give everything a mix. I find that the long beans take 4-6 minutes to cook. Remember, you don't want to overcook them. I cook them just until they've got a little bit of snap left in 'em.

Season with salt. Remove from heat. You can either mix in the fried garlic/shallots or just top the long beans with the fried goodies. Your choice....and, you're done!

Bottom Line:
About 20 minutes of work.

Food cost- Pathetically cheap.
About a dollar for the long beans and another 50 cents for everything else. A bit more if you have to buy the ground pork. Serves two people.

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