I love the look of a binful of green beans at the market, and like to dive my hand in and grab a bunch, but once I get them home, I find them more or less uninspiring. (A metaphor for so many things, no?) They wind up sitting in the bottom of my crisper (a misnomer if ever there was one) until they start to develop little white fuzzy bits. And oh, the guilt.
I do love their soft, pale smoothness and elegant green bean tips. I don’t know who started to trim both ends, rendering them reminiscent of canned green beans (which I sometimes call into service for marinated bean salads, but not much else). I encourage anyone in charge of trimming green beans to slice off stem ends only. Bonus: it’s half the work.
So I may not have mentioned the fact that I’m on this TV show that’s apparently still in reruns (I don’t watch it – I know what happens) – those of you who have been around since the beginning (eek! let’s not count years) may remember back when I was actually taping it and posting here too. (You may find it weird that I have never ever even visited the show’s website, and just googled it now so I could add the link. Is that weird? I think actually it is. Maybe it’s because I’m overstyled and made up and dressed the way I mostly wouldn’t when left to my own devices. Or something.)
The point is, Ned made some green beans on the show using a recipe they used at the restaurant he cheffed at at the time, and every few months someone emails me asking for the recipe, which is apparently not on the website. And I don’t have it, and can’t recall what went into it, but it sounds delicious and every once in awhile that seed is replanted. And so often when I see green beans I wish I could turn them into Szechuan green beans, and the other day I just decided to figure it out.
And I’m glad I did. Damn, I could eat these every day. I might, for the summer at least. You get a heavy pan nice and hot with some oil – anything neutral, plus a drizzle of sesame oil – then toss in fresh beans. Cook them until they start to shrivel a bit and turn golden.
Add some garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar and sriracha – I eyeballed each – and there you have it: sweet, salty, spicy + ginger and garlic. (Sliced garlic doesn’t burn as quickly as minced does.)