Four weeks later…

First off, the wedding was fabulously fun and went off without a hitch (except, obviously, in the getting ____ed sense of the word). I’m waiting for the professional photos to come in before I do a full write-up, but this is one of my favorites of the few people have sent me so far.

In the meantime, here’s a recipe for something I’ve made at least once a week this summer. It was inspired by a dish that I get at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown, which they call String Beans Szechuan Style (with Pork), but using Thai and Korean ingredients too for a sort of pan-Asian deliciousness. Also, I almost always make it with beef, since ground pork is not all that easy to come by in a neighborhood with large populations of both Muslims and Orthodox Jews, but it’s delicious either way.

The idea is to cook up a small amount of heavily seasoned meat, then to let the meat flavor a panful of green beans. I’m pretty sure Joe’s fries their beans, but a quick, high-heat saute works just as well to retain some crunch. The Korean BBQ sauce is something I first had when I was still writing for Serious Eats, and I interviewed the sisters who make it. They’re lovely, the sauces are delicious, and I like to keep a bottle or two onhand for this kind of dish or for quick stir frys. You can still make this without it; the dish will just be less saucy at the end. It turns out spicy and savory and a bit tangy from the lime and rice vinegar, and it’s completely addicting.

Green Beans with Spicy Beef

1/2 lb. ground beef
zest and juice of one lime
1/4 c. We Rub You Korean BBQ sauce, spicy or regular
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp.-1 tbsp. Siracha or other hot sauce, to taste
1/2 c. water
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and chopped to 1 1/2″ pieces

Brown the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks. When it’s browned, drain off the grease if necessary. Add the remaining ingredients except green beans and stir to combine. Turn heat to medium and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced by about a third. Add the beans and let cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes or until beans have achieved your preferred level of doneness. Serve over rice.


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