Friday, 8 February 2008

French beans and mushroom stir fry

I was going to cook a Chinese dish of french beans with minced pork in chilli bean sauce, and then realised that I had not bought any pork mince. Determined to still make something with the french beans, I decided to substitute the mince with shitake mushrooms instead and make this a vegetarian dish. Thank goodness I always have a stash of dried shitake in the larder.

When stir frying, I like to cut some vegetables such as spring onions, french beans, baby sweet corn, carrots, and mange tout/snow peas on the diagonal instead of just into sticks. A diagonal cut exposes greater surface area to heat when stir frying, which makes the ingredients cook quicker and more evenly. This is particularly well suited to the quick stir frying technique. It also gives the food a slightly different and more attractive look, although it requires spending a bit more time on the chopping board.

Green beans and mushrooms stir fry in chilli bean sauce

Ingredients (serves 2):

100g French beans, sliced on the diagonal
5-6 dried shitake mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp chilli bean paste (or black bean sauce)
Oil for cooking

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes to reconstitute them. After they have softened, gently squeeze out excess water and dice them. Reserve the soaking liquid.

Heat a wok or large pan till hot and add some oil to heat. With the wok on medium heat, add the minced garlic to the pan and stir for 30 seconds till the oil is fragrant. Add the french beans and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the beans take on colour from the heat.

Add in the diced mushrooms and some of the reserved mushroom water (discard the sediments at the bottom of the liquid). Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the oyster sauce and chilli bean paste and stir to mix evenly. Dish out and serve immediately.

Tip: If replacing the mushrooms with minced pork or beef, cook the minced meat after the garlic and once the meat is browned and separated, add the french beans and then seasoning. Skip the mushroom water if you want a drier texture to this dish.


mycookinghut said...

I love French beans. I reckon with mushroom is a good choice too!! I tend to do with garlic and prawns and wee bit of soya sauce.. yum!

Rasa Malaysia said...

French beans are so versatile, you can cook it with anything and still good, even just plain with garlic. :)

Nilmandra said...

My Cooking Hut: I'll eat just about anything with prawns hehe.

Rasa Malaysia: True. French beans taste naturally sweet and I adore garlic. I sometimes stir fry them with silver fish (mini ikan bilis?).

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