I can't believe I haven't shared this green bean recipe yet. It is another one of those recipes that I started making after having green beans like these at a Chinese restaurant. We loved them so much that we started experimenting with how to make them at home, and came up with this recipe. They are great with a roast chicken, or as a side dish with any Asian-inspired meal. You can make them as spicy as you like, or not at all, and they are easy to cook ahead of time and reheat. Even my mother, who really only wants to eat Italian food, loves them. They are best when you find the really skinny french green beans, called haricots verts. Make a lot, because they are also great as leftovers.
1 pound green beans (the skinnier the better)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced very fine
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp (or more if you want them very spicy) Asian chili paste (such as Sambal Oelek)
Depending on the thickness of the green beans, trim the ends, then wash. Blanch them for about 3-4 minutes in a pot of salted boiling water. Strain and run under very cold water for a few minutes. Place the oil and green beans in a large frying pan (a cast iron skillet works particularly well, and I often split the beans up into 2 pans) over medium high heat. Cook them, moving them every several minuted, until they become brown on all sides. This will take up to 20 minutes, depending on how many green beans you are making, and you may think you are burning them. You can add a few tablespoons of water to the pan as the green beans are browning to help the process along. When the are well-browned, turn down the heat to medium low, and add the garlic. Sautee for 2 minutes, constantly moving the green beans and garlic around to avoid burning the garlic. Add the soy sauce and chili paste, turning the heat off, and stirring the beans to coat them evenly. Serve and enjoy!