I have a confession to make. I don’t really care all that much for green beans. I try to like them. I eat them steamed, roasted, even grilled, but they never get more than a “meh” from me. I really want to like them, all green and fresh and crisp but something about the flavor is off for me.
This season, I was determined to find a way to cook green beans that I would actually enjoy. After much searching, Marc came across this recipe. It looked promising. Sesame oil, good. Ginger and garlic, good. Hoisin sauce, very good. Almonds soaked in Tamari soy sauce, very very good.
Turns out, this recipe is awesome. I love good Chinese food and this has all the elements of Chinese take out. Even better, it made me like green beans. In fact, I had leftovers the next day, a true testament to the deliciousness of this dish.
Spicy Green Beans with Tamari Roasted Almonds
Adapted from The Produce Bible by Leanne Kitchen
1/2 cup almonds
Tamari soy sauce, for soaking
3 tbls toasted sesame oil
1 cup rice (uncooked)
1 hot red chili, seeded, finely chopped
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups green beans (about a pound), cut into 2 inch pieces
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls mirin (rice cooking wine)
First, make the tamari almonds. Put the almonds in a bowl and pour in enough tamari to cover. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain off the tamari (save the tamari, it can still be used). Heat the almonds for a few minutes in a hot skillet, shaking occasionally. Roughly chop and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
In a sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil. When the oil is hot, dump in the rice. Stir to coat the rice and toast for a few minutes. Add in the appropriate amount of water and cooking according to the rice instructions. Set aside.
In the same skillet that you used for the almonds, heat two tablespoons of toasted sesame oil. Add in the finely chopped ginger, garlic, and chili; cook for 1 minute. Add in the green beans, hoisin sauce, and brown sugar. Cook until the beans are slightly tender, but still with some crunch, about 5 minutes (or until they are as soft as you like). Add in the mirin and cook for 1 minute more.
Put the rice in a large serving bowl. Top with the green beans and all of the wonderful sauce. Finally, add the roughly chopped almonds. Serves 6 as a side.