I thought it may be difficult to recreate the sauce, but alas, I have found one that is similar with many dimensions. It is from a cookbook I mentioned in the Moroccan Carrot spread posting, called Vegetarian Appetizers by Paulette Mitchell. This has been one of my most useful cookbooks over the past seven years.
Before starting the recipe, I let the green beans soak in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes because they had a lot of dirt on them. This really helped when it came time to clean them.
Among the great aspects of this recipe, you can add a protein to make it a full meal. I chose to add scrambled eggs, but you could also add chicken, pork, tofu or shrimp. Also the sauce could be used on many other veggies besides green beans.
This was my first experience with hoisin sauce. I wasn't totally sure what to expect, but it actually had a very familiar taste to it and realized it is found in a lot of sauces. And it was really easy to find at the local grocery in the Asian food section.
The sauce has several ingredients, but all play an important role in making it have several dimensions. I cut the recipe in half tonight because I was just cooking for myself. But the recipe below is the full deal.
|Toasted sesame seeds|
I didn't veer too far from the original ingredients either. I just added the egg and rearranged some of the instructions.
Crunchy Szechuan Green Beans
Adapted from Vegetarian Appetizers by Paulette Mitchell
Sesame seeds, toasted
Olive oil for sauteing
1 pound green beans, cleaned and trimmed
1/4 onion, chopped thinly
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Heat a small saute pan on medium heat. Add sesame seeds. (Depending on your preference level for sesame seeds, use as much as you like. In my halved recipe, I used about 2 Tbsp.) Continually toss the seeds in the dry heat until they start to brown and become aromatic. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
If adding a protein (egg, chicken, tofu, pork, shrimp, etc.), cook next and set aside.
In a larger pan, add olive oil over medium heat. Add the beans and onions. Cook until tenderly crisp. This may take awhile depending on the thickness of the beans, about 10-20 minutes. Make sure to keep on medium heat though, so the onions don't burn.
While this is cooking, make the sauce. Combine the rest of the ingredients (hoisin sauce through red pepper flakes). Whisk thoroughly until the consistency is that of cake batter. Set aside.
When beans have slightly charred and tenderized, remove from heat. Add the sauce and mix well. Toss in the cooked protein and sesame seeds. Immediately plate and serve. Add extra red pepper flakes or your favorite hot sauce for more spice. Can be served alongside rice for a main course or by itself as an appetizer.