Easy to make, pretty to look at, tasty to eat – this dish could be called triple happiness beans.
I assume the “double” refers to the two types of bean involved – Chinese black beans and fresh green beans.
These are not the same black beans that feature in Mexican recipes like sweet potato and black bean tacos, but soybeans that have been dried and fermented with salt.
Pungent and intensely salty, Chinese black beans should be soaked before use to avoid overpowering the other ingredients.
On my work-from-home days, I often make a big bowl of steamed vegetables with cheese for lunch.
The idea for this dish came from some two-week, healthy-eating regime we followed years ago. Each day, you were presented with two choices of lunch – and whenever steamed vegetables with cheese was an option, I chose the other one.
Until the day I didn’t… and discovered that steamed vegetables with cheese is an immensely satisfying bowl of food. I’ve eaten it regularly ever since, with whatever vegetables are in season or on hand.
Last November in Hong Kong we ate the most delicious stir-fried green beans one evening. Finding ourselves without dinner reservations on Saturday night, we were turned away from several places before finally landing a table in one of the many restaurants in the iSquare building on Nathan Road.
These Gujarati green beans with mustard seeds and ginger make a lovely side dish to an Indian meal. The combination of stir frying and steaming results in vibrant green, crunchy beans. Continue reading
This chickpea green bean salad completely transformed my previously poor opinion of bean salads. It’s nothing like the mixed bean salads – tough kidney beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, and mushy tinned green beans swimming in oily vinegar – that I always avoided at potlucks and salad bars.
The recipe calls for two separate dressings – a garlicky one for the chickpeas, and a gingery one for the green beans. If time allows, it’s worth making the chickpea part of the salad a few hours ahead so they can marinate, then doing the green beans when it’s almost time to eat.
While it’s not much extra work to make both dressings, sometimes I just make the green bean dressing, and toss it all together at the same time. Another Madhur Jaffrey recipe from my trusty World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking. Continue reading
To my regret, I have yet to visit Indonesia. The closest I’ve managed to get so far is watching The Year of Living Dangerously – and eating delicious Indonesian dishes like gado gado.
Making gado gado is all about the preparation – boiling potatoes and eggs, steaming green beans, blanching cabbage and beansprouts, frying the tempeh, and achieving a perfect balance of flavours in your peanut sauce. After that, simply a matter of a few moments to pile everything on a plate and tuck in.
I consider this steak salad to be the summer version of a roast beef dinner – grilled meat, roast potatoes, steamed green beans, and a horseradish-based dressing to dollop on top. I often make it with boiled potatoes, but as our stove top was condemned(!) by the gas man a few days ago, that wasn’t an option.
I serve the tomatoes, beans and onions in a large bowl; the meat and potatoes in another; and the dressing on the side. This works visually and also prevents the warm ingredients from making the fresh vegetables limp. It also cuts down on complaints from the girls, who are still “learning to like” horseradish – which is what I always say about those foods they currently shun. Continue reading