— Hiccup (@hiccupfinefood) August 19, 2016
Add some sizzle and spice to your green beans! Described as having a crisp texture and a mildly sweet, grassy flavour, stir-fry them in peanut oil with green onions, garlic, ginger, and lots of chili heat. Fresh herbs like basil and mint add a flavourful freshness, while brown sugar and roasted peanuts leave you with an extra sweet crunch. Call them string beans, snap peas, or green beans, I’m here to show you how to cook these little green beans tucked inside their edible green pods, delicious!
Green Beans – Fruit or Vegetable?
Technically, beans are neither a fruit nor a vegetable. Beans are classified as legumes, a type of plant that produces edible fruits and seeds. Snow peas, string beans, sugar snap peas, green peas, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas and fava beans are all types of legumes. However they’re labeled, legumes are a healthy, low-fat way to add protein and fiber to a diet and are popular additions to vegetarian dishes for that very reason.
Although these bright green and crunchy beans are available at your local market throughout the year, they are in season from summer through early fall when they are at their best and the least expensive.
Add Some Sizzle and Spice!
Green beans are available canned, frozen, and fresh. They can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried, and baked in casseroles. Green bean casserole, which consist of ingredients like cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions is a popular way to cook this green vegetable, especially around Thanksgiving. For this recipe, I have a healthy pan of green beans, stir-fried, topped with shrimp and lots of chilli heat. They are also great with grilled fish and sauteed mushrooms.
Recipe Tip: Just prior to cooking the green beans, wash them under running water. Remove both ends of the beans by either snapping them off or cutting them with a knife.
1 tablespoon peanut oil (sesame oil is a great substitute)
60 – 80 green beans, stems removed
3 stalks green onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 – 3 chilli peppers, finely sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup unsalted, roasted peanuts or almonds, crushed
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat to high heat. When oil is smoking, add green onions, garlic, ginger and chili peppers. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peanuts, basil and mint. Sauté for 1 minute stirring occasionally. Add in the fish sauce, then green beans and brown sugar. Toss for 3 – 4 minutes, allowing the green beans to become slightly scorched.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 – 10 minutes
See more: Cooking Green Goodness.