When living in China a few years ago I feel even more in love with Chinese food (and Asian food in general). I love the flavors, ingredients, smells and verity of cooking styles. I had some of the best food I’ve ever tasted in Changping District. Spicy cucumbers, Kung Pao Chicken, fresh made wonton soup and fresh soy milk (nice and warm) every morning. One ingredient that I feel in love with was sesame oil. It is one of those ingredients that just even smelling it makes me smile.
The other night when I was making Bryan some Sweet and Spicy Chicken I decided we need a vegetable to go along with it. Our choices were broccoli or green beans and we opted for the green beans this time. (I think both green beans and broccoli go well with Asian dishes). Instead of just plain steamed green beans I wanted to spice things up a bit and came up with the following recipe (which I have since tested – as you can see from the photo above).
Asian Inspired Green Beans
1 pound green beans - ends trimmed
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp water
1/8-1/4 tsp honey
salt to taste
Steam green beans and drain – reserve one teaspoon of the hot water. In a sauté pan add water, sesame oil and red pepper flakes over medium/high heat. Add green beans and sauté for five-seven minutes (feel free to add more sesame oil or red pepper flakes to your taste). Remove from heat and drizzle with honey. Stir until green beans are coated well.
You can add any other vegetables you make like – mushrooms, shelled edamame etc. As you can see in the above photo I added mushrooms and served them over some read quinoa…a great light and refreshing vegetarian and gluten-free side dish or lunch.
Also check out: P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumber