Salty String Beans

For this Favorite Summer Recipes edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, I’ve got a recipe that uses fresh green beans (plentiful in summer) and plenty of salt (good for replenishing sweaty people).  It’s my attempt to replicate the string beans served in many Chinese restaurants.

I’m not giving specific measurements because I always just look at the amount of string beans I have and take it from there . . . but I’ll explain how to use the ingredients proportionate to one another.

You will need:

  • fresh string beans
  • sesame oil (You can “stretch” it with some additional cooking oil, but you really need some delicious toasty sesame oil flavor!)
  • onion (Green onions will work.)
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • wok or skillet, with lid

Clean the beans and snap off the ends.  I like to cut them about 2 inches long for easier handling.  If some of the beans are very thick, cut them in half the long way.

If you like string beans to be cooked thoroughly, steam them to about half-done before proceeding.  Otherwise, they’ll be slightly crunchy.

Dice onion–about 1 part onion to 5 parts beans–and cover it with oil and cook until it begins to brown.

Add string beans.  Add an appalling amount of salt–like 1/4 tsp. per 2 cups of beans, maybe?  What I do is pour salt into the palm of my hand until a mental alarm goes off, and then sprinkle it over the beans.  Sprinkle more lightly with white pepper.  Stir.

Cook, covered, about 3 minutes.  Stir.  Remove a bean, let cool, and taste it.  If it is not amazingly delicious, decide whether it needs more pepper, more oil, just a dash of garlic powder, or even still more salt, and add that.

Cook, uncovered, until bean juice boils away and beans are lightly browned.

This makes a good side dish to any boring food, but I like it best over noodles or rice, ideally with a sweet protein like Tangy Honey-Apricot Tofu.

Find more recipes at Ultimate Recipe Swap and What’s Cooking Wednesday!

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About 'Becca
author of The Earthling's Handbook, about the environment, parenting, cooking, and more!

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