Okay, this long beans also known as snake beans.
Call me paraonoid or overly self-conscious but since I’m Asian, I am somehow nervous about putting the word “snake” and stir fry in the same sentence (I get a lot of people asking me whether I have eaten dogs, snakes and some other predatorial animals that are exotic enough to be in the zoo. And the answer is NO!).
Furthermore, staying true to my Malaysian origin, I grew up calling them as kacang panjang which means long beans in Malay.
So don’t mind me, I’m just going to stick the name I’m most comfortable with.
I must say I haven’t came across these long beans for a long time. My old place before Orange was quite scarce in Asian vegetables so to my pleasant surprise, the local grocers here stock a good variety of Asian vegetables, even some that I’m not familiar with.
Although I’m not a big fan of beans, I ‘m dying to free myself from the usual vegetables i.e.carrots, cabbage and brocolli and try something different. After all a brand new year calls for a brand new vegetable in my fuss free diet. Not that I’m new to long beans, but they have been my “long lost acquiantances”.
I used to have these cooked for me by my mum or had them in restaurants. So this would be my first time actually cooking these on my own. Whenever I’m challenged with new Asian type vegetables, my fail proof way of cooking them is to stir fry with lots of chopped garlic, chillies and “flavoured” with some minced meat. Not too creative, I know. But hey, at least I know it’s going to be good!
Spicy Long Beans with Chicken
(A Fuss Free Cooking Recipe)
Serves 2 people with rice
- A bunch of long beans (about 16 long beans per bunch), cut in 6 parts lenghtwise
- 2 chicken thigh fillets, diced (to save time, use 100g already minced chicken from the butcher)
- 1 birds eye chilli, thinly sliced (or 1/2 half normal chilli or 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce (if not, you can substitute dss with 1/2 tsp sugar)
- Some white pepper
- 2 drops of sesame oil
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 kettle of boiling water
- Marinate chicken with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Mix 1 tbsp of water and oyster sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cook the long beans in boiling water with some salt. Take the beans out as soon as their color changes to slightly brigther green. Run through the beans with cold water and set aside. (This step is to ensure the colour of the beans remain vibrant after being stir fried as well as enables the beans to cook more evenly.)
- Oil the pan with 1 tbsp of flavourless oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic and chilli until aromatic.
- Quickly add the chicken and saute until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Add the beans and cooked until your desired texture is achieved. I like mine to be crunchy so it probably takes about 2 minutes or so.
- Add oyster sauce mixture into the stir fry and toss to combine. Once the sauce is thickened, it is ready to serve immediately. Best served with rice.