I needed a vegetable to go with my barbecued tri-tip and mushrooms. I wanted the dish to be Asian, but I did not want to have just a third dish covered in Sichuan pepper sauce. I decided on French green beans, Harcourt vert, that are thinner and more tender than regular American green beans.
My mother, Claudia, always used Japanese Kikoman’s soy sauce as I was growing up. For years I have followed suit in my cooking—for me it just tastes right. Recently, I have discovered other soy sauces. I had made pork adobo with Japanese soy sauce and vinegar, only to be told by Eilene’s Filipino friend that while it was good it was not Filipino adobo.
One of the soy sauces I have been experimenting with is Chinese dark soy sauce. It is thicker and has a more complex and less salty flavor than Kikoman’s. What have I been missing?
Karl’s Harcourt Vert with Dark Soy Sauce
1 lb. French harcourt vert
1 Tbs. peanut oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 Tbs. yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, sliced into shreds
2 Tbs. dark soy sauce
1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 Tbs. cold water
1. Rinse and stem the green beans and steam them until just crisp tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Tip: You may use Blue Lake green beans, but you will need to steam them just a little bit longer.
Note: Be careful not to overcook the green beans. They will be cooked a second time and mushy green beans are not appealing.
2. Dunk the beans in cold water—to stop them from over cooking. Drain and set them aside.
3. Five minutes before dinner, saute the garlic and onion in the peanut oil until fragrant, about two minutes.
Tip: You may use the same pot that was used to steam the green beans.
4. Stir in the soy sauce, ginger, and a splash of the cornstarch mixture. Cook for one minute more until starting to thicken.
5. Add the green beans and toss to coat and for two minutes to reheat the beans.
6. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.