Green beans and Thanksgiving
I follow a lot of bloggers from the US and at the moment, everyone’s posting their different Thanksgiving recipes, one of which is a green bean casserole – a dish I’d never even heard of before, much less tried or tasted (but I will, promise!).
With my husband being English, and me being Chinese, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and I oddly feel a little left out of all this Thanksgiving cheer. I want to share; and I want to contribute; so I hope I do my new-found friends justice…
I’d like to wish all of the lovely fellow bloggers I’ve met these last six months happy holidays, and I hope you’ll accept this recipe and post in the spirit it is intended… I don’t know how to make a green bean casserole but I can make a mean stir fry, and this dish is just as traditional to Chinese people as the green bean casserole is to others.
The key to this stir fried vegetable is simplicity. Not counting the oil and water, there are only five main ingredients – green beans, sugar, salt, ginger and garlic – the most unfussy but purest way of cooking vegetables Chinese-style.
It’s what Chinese people eat at home but funnily enough, it’s also what we order when we eat Chinese out. 🙂
Whenever I’ve been in a more ‘zen’ frame of mind, I make this stir fry and eat it with nothing more than a bowl of plain rice.
I’ve never tampered with this recipe. Don’t have to. Don’t want to. Really don’t need to. It’s a classic, y’know – a tradition – and there are some things you just don’t need to mess with sometimes.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
With love and thanks
Stir fried green beans (A side dish for 3-4)
This dish takes about five minutes to cook so you have to have everything prepared beforehand. However, it really only takes a couple of minutes getting everything ready so there’s no real hard graft required. It’s however essential that you have a saucepan or wok that has a lid because you’re going to need it!
Because it cooks so quickly, I thought I’d put a running order of the frying process so you understand how fast you need to be.
175 – 200 grams green beans, topped, tailed (I like cutting my beans on the diagonal into 2-3 cm spears as it’s how my mum always did them)
3 slices of ginger, peeled and sliced into slivers
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup water mixed with ¾ teaspoon salt and 1½ sugar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
I got my husband to time the cooking process because it all happens so quickly. Here’s the cooking timing from the moment the oil becomes hot in your saucepan or wok…keep the heat on high!
0.00 mins: Drop your ginger slices into your hot oil and fry for 45 secs. They’ll start turning golden brown.
0.45 min: Add your sliced garlic and fry for another 30 secs.
1.15 mins: Add green beans and toss well for 15 secs so they’re all coated in oil (be careful as the oil will splutter!).
1.30 min: Add your seasoned water. Stir well (careful of the spluttering) for 10 secs and pop the lid on.
4.00 mins: Allow your beans to fry, covered, and stir maybe once or twice. if you like your beans crunchy, only fry them for 3-4 minutes. If you like them softer, give them another 30 secs to 1 min.
Pour into a dish and sprinkle with white or black pepper.