Mike Wolfberg's Recipe for Chinese Green Beans with
This is adapted from a recipe from Martha Goh.
- 2 lb. green beans
- Wash and trim the ends off, and throw away ugly parts,
cut into 2-4 pieces per bean, creating pieces of about
1-1.5 inches; the yield is about 1.5 lb.
- about 1/3 of a dried hot red pepper
- with seeds removed
- 3 large garlic cloves
- peeled and chopped medium fine
- fresh ginger root
- peeled and chopped medium fine, yielding about 2 Tbl.
- 1.5 oz. dark soy sauce
- I use Pearl River brand Mushroom Soy Sauce, available at
most Chinese markets.
- 2 oz. water
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashew pieces
- I usually find these in Indian markets;
don't buy the more expensive whole ones,
since pieces are better.
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- or any vegetable oil other than olive
- 2 scallions
- washed and segregated into two groups - white parts and
green parts - slice crosswise (hold off slicing the green
parts until the end)
- cilantro (coriander leaves)
- washed and chopped (hold off chopping until the end)
yielding about 1/4 - 1/2 cup
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. sesame oil
- an optional final ingredient
- Put the oil in a wok, and heat on high heat for 30-60
seconds, and then put in the cashews. Stir for about 3-5
minutes, until they turn golden brown, avoid blackening,
turning down the heat to medium as they begin to brown.
Remove them with a slotted spoon into a dish for use at
- Most of the oil should still be in the wok - add the
piece of hot pepper and let it cook for a few seconds
until it turns black; remove it (or leave it in for
possible excitement). Sometimes I forget and add the
beans too soon, in which case I just throw in the pepper
with the beans. Finding it later seems too tough and its
intensity probably reduces, so it would not be disastrous
to eat it.
- Add the beans, and toss in the oil for about a minute.
Add the chopped ginger, and continue tossing occasionally
for about 4 more minutes. Add the garlic and the sliced
white parts of the scallions, and continue tossing
occasionally for another 3 minutes or so. These times are
all approximate - just avoid burning the beans too much -
some dark, burn spots are OK - they don't ruin the dish,
but they are not something to strive for.
- Add the soy sauce. Use the water to rinse the soy sauce
container and add that - stir in, lower the heat, cover,
and cook for about 15 minutes. Use less time if you want
the beans crispier yet less integrated with the flavors.
Stir every 3-5 minutes to cook evenly. Then they can be
set aside if they are being served much later.
- To get them ready to serve, chop the coriander, and slice
the green parts of the scallions. If they were set aside,
heat up the beans a bit first. Then add in the cashews
(which were cooked earlier), and stir in for 1-2 minutes;
add the scallions, and stir in for a few seconds; and
finally add the coriander, and stir that in for another
1-2 minutes. This is finally servable. By this time there
should not be much liquid left in the wok - it should
have cooked down throughout the process.
- You can add some sesame oil for taste as you serve it,
but I rarely do this.