Chinese New Year – part 3

The second recipe that I tried from Fuchsia Dunlop‘s Land of Plenty, was a green bean dish. This doesn’t necessarily have any specific meaning for Chinese New Year, but I thought it would be an interesting one to try. The fresh green beans at the grocery store were unfortunately in horrible shape, and I had been so frustrated by the crowd at T&T on Friday that I didn’t end up buying any vegetables from there, so instead I ended up using some frozen green and yellow bean mix that I had lurking in my freezer.

Haricots verts in ginger sauce

Haricots verts in ginger sauce

The taste was much lighter and cleaner than the lettuce, and I think I preferred this dish over the previous one. I did screw up a couple of times on this simple recipe. Unfortunately my knife skills suck (I probably need to take a cooking class at NAIT), and I did not slice the ginger finely enough. I also really overdid it with the amount of ginger. Whoops. I think if you wanted to, you probably could even reduce the amount of ginger listed in the recipe as the raw ginger taste is pretty strong.

One change I made to the recipe was that I doubled the amount of vinegar so that all the beans were nicely coated and had a bit of tang to them. I would also recommend making the sauce a little earlier and letting the ginger soak in the liquid for a little bit, so I moved the order of the directions.

Haricots verts in ginger sauce (jiang zhi jiang dou)
Adapted from Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop, Page 150

a generous pound of haricots verts, green beans, or Asian yard-long beans

For the sauce:
4 teaspoons very finely and evenly chopped fresh ginger (or less depending on taste)
3 tablespoons chicken stock
3-4 teaspoons Chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar depending on taste (original recipe says 2 teaspoons)
salt to taste
4 teaspoons sesame oil

For the sauce, combine the ginger with the stock and vinegar in a separate bowl. Season with the salt to taste, then add the sesame oil. Dunlop notes that “the vinegar should give the sauce a light tea colour and gentle sourness.” The sauce is quite light tasting, so you should taste it and adjust the vinegar as necessary.

Trim and clean the beans, and cut into 2-inch sections.

Boil a large pot of water and salt generously, then add the beans to the boiling water. Cook until they are just tender and still slightly crisp. Rinse in cold running water and drain throughly before arranging the beans on a serving dish. Pour the sauce over the beans and serve.

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