Sunday, July 26, 2009

Green Bean Bliss

I love fresh green beans. I love the way they squeak between my teeth; I love the flavor; I love the color; I love how they can be used as big green fangs to make a 6-year-old crack up.

And now I love them even more because I melded them with my favorite summer flavors, those found in the Vietnamese lime sauce Nuoc Cham. Today I blanched the rest of my Tantre green beans, chopped up a half a cake of firm tofu and tossed it all with the dressing. It was fast, easy, tasty and perfect for a hot, humid day.

Green Bean and Tofu Salad with Nuoc Cham

1.5 quarts green beans
.5 cake of firm tofu, cut into small cubes
juice of 1 lime
2 t brown sugar
1 small clove of garlic, pressed
1 T soy sauce
1.5 T fish sauce (I like the 3 crabs brand)
.5 of a long serrano chili, chopped fine (or more if you want it hotter)
1/4 C unsalted peanuts, chopped coarsely
at least 2 T each of chopped basil (Thai basil if you have it), spearmint and cilantro

Chuck the beans in a big pot of boiling water and blanch until just tender. Dump in a colander and run cool water over them. Cut into 2 inch lengths.

In your serving bowl combine the lime juice, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce and chili. Give a stir to dissolve the sugar. It may not look like enough dressing but it is. Then toss in the green beans, tofu, chopped peanuts and chopped herbs. Don't serve immediately--you want the flavors to get absorbed a little into the tofu and beans. Instead, let it sit for about half an hour, tossing every 10 minutes to make sure that the flavors are distributed.

4 comments:

eatclosetohome said...

AAAAAAA! AAAAAAA!! NOOOOOOOO! Not the feeling of green beans squeaking on my teeth!

*goes off and brushes teeth vigorously*

Sorry 'bout that. Just can't stand that feeling; must cook beans 2 minutes past al dente.

Recipe looks good, though...

Edward Vielmetti said...

Tonight's green beans for us were Italian style (with garlic and tomatoes). I love the fish sauce idea.

We've taken to boiling cubed tofu - it firms up the texture and makes it seem more substantial.

Spencer said...

I forwarded this post to my daughter, since we already had some green beans in the fridge. She responded:

so I lost track of time and have neither time to get missing ingredients nor money... at [friend's] advice, I am making it with rice instead of tofu and ginger instead of chili pepper and no fish sauce [because] it's partially crystallized and therefore suspect...

It was delicious. I had trouble leaving enough for the rest of the family.

Kate said...

Spencer--
I was selfish and ate them all myself :) Of course my critters won't go near anything with fish sauce in it (in their words, stinky feet sauce) so I knew I wouldn't have to share with them!

Jen--
heh heh heh--sorry to cause such sensory pain to you! There are plenty of other sounds/smells that I freak out at, but squeaky beans isn't one of them.