Fresh string beans are piled up at the local market, and we took a pound or two home last week for a big dinner with friends. String beans are so juicy and crisp, with a fresh sweetness when they are at their peak.
This quick recipe keeps them slightly crisp, playing off the sweetness with tart tomato and the salty, loosely Chinese flavors of soy sauce and five-spice seasoning. These would make a good Thanksgiving vegetable, too - a breather of green crispness between the starch and tryptophan.
Stir-Fried Green Beans
serves 6 as a side
1 pound string beans
2 Roma tomatoes
Light vegetable oil or sesame oil
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
Clean the beans and snap the ends off. Snap the beans into smaller pieces if you wish. Dice the tomato and set aside.
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and film the bottom with oil. When the oil is hot, add the green beans, in batches if necessary. Shake the pan as they cook, and add a drizzle of soy sauce. Add the five-spice powder and stir. Keep shaking the pan and adding a little more soy sauce as it evaporates. Cook the beans for about six minutes, or until done to your satisfaction; I like mine still a little crispy.
Add the tomatoes and toss over medium heat until they are warmed through.
(Image: Faith Hopler)