Flavors of Asia give boost to green beans
“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today, instructor Tom Alicandro continues a four-part series on vegetable side dishes.
For Tom Alicandro, spring green means Asian-style green beans.
“This is one that can be served room temperature or hot, whichever way you prefer,” Alicandro said. “So a lot of times in the summertime, this is a great dish to serve as a side dish because you can just let it be room temperature.”
Four ingredients give the beans their Asian-style flavors — ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame seeds.
“I blanch the green beans and it’s very important that you put salt in your water when you do that,” Alicandro said. “That sets the green color. A dish like this, especially in the summertime, you always see with your eyes first, so if the green beans are gray, they’re not attractive. The cold water will shock and finish the color.”
Alicandro knows some people like beans with a little crunch, while others prefer them soft.
“Here, we lean toward the al dente more, but at home, many people do not like that,” he said. “You can just leave them in the water longer until they’re tender. That’s totally up to you.”
Once the beans are finished, home diners will see and taste the extra flavors.
“When they’re warm, I just add a little soy sauce and sprinkle some sesame seeds,” Alicandro said. “I add the red pepper for color, just to brighten them up a little.”
Asian-Style Green Beans
1 pinch salt
2 cups green beans
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup red pepper, diced
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic
1⁄4 teaspoon ginger
1⁄2 cup soy sauce
4 pinches sesame seeds
In sauce pan, boil water with a pinch of salt. Place trimmed green beans in water until beans are tender.
Place cooked beans in very cold water immediately to stop cooking.
In sauté pan, heat vegetable oil and sauté green beans, red pepper, garlic and ginger until hot. Place on plate or in bowl, add soy sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.