Sticky Spicy Green Beans

We're doing a little remodeling - unifying our kitchen and family room in true 1990's spirit by taking down a wall and building a huge island. We're in the demolition phase which makes it challenging to cook due to the plaster dust floating around. The voices from the pair of carpenters doing the work have become my kitchen soundtrack. They're nice, unintentionally funny guys who forget I'm there and sound like Lucy and Ethel when they're trying to figure something out. Makes up for the mess.

So my cooking has become more simplified, to say the least. These beans are inspired by a a dish my friend brought over to share. She used cashews as the sauce catcher. I'm using french green beans. Incredibly addictive flavor - sticky, salty, spicy and just the right amount of sweet.  The ingredients are few - beans, chili paste, lime and (a new one for me) kecap manis,  a thick sweet soy sauce.  Find it at an Asian market, Amazon, or come over and borrow some from me if you're in the neighborhood. Hard hat optional.

Kecap manis - Indonesian ketchup

Sticky Spicy Green Beans

Serves 2-4 as a side 

1 lb. french green beans (haricot verts)
4 tablespoons kecap manis/sweet soy sauce
2 tablespoons chili-garlic paste
Juice from one lime

1. Mix kecap manis and chili-garlic paste together in a small bowl.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of neutral oil (like canola) in a large saute pan or wok until very hot. Add beans (make sure they're dry to prevent splattering) and saute for about 5 minutes, tossing around until they're blistered and a little shriveled (you may have to do these in batches depending on the size of your pan). Drain on paper.

3. Pour off excess oil, wipe out pan then add beans back in along with the kecap manis and chili-garlic paste. Saute for a minute, squeeze the lime over and cook for another minute or until thickened. Serve hot or at room temperature.


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