I feel kind like some sort of Ghostbuster this evening. I am not standing on top of a smoking New York building ready to face down the apocalypse armed only with a sarcastic sense of humour and a funky coloured laser. However the parallels are apt. For a while the boss has been dipping in and out of a book called "Japanese women don't get old or fat: blah blah blah." It's not a bad book in itself. It offers a few points of interest on the differences in our diets, lifestyles and how they affect health. No rocket science here but no hokum either. Anyway there was an article in a British newspapre recently about a book in a similar style about Chinese food. I remember very little about it except that it said rice was important to the Chinese and that it was OK to have a vegetable as the main course. (I suspect many vegetariams may have grasped that point but us omnivores are a little slower). As soon as I read it I thought "some green beans and rice would be nice." A bit like the fateful choice that brought down the apocalypse in the shape of the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man and our brave Ghostbusting heroes.
That was last week sometime. Since then I have not lost sight of that dish in my head but time has got in the way. I have been to England, seen friends, family, visited my grandmother's grave (or the hillside where her ashes are scattered and it was a good feeling to be there). I ate some good food, I drank real ale and came home tired but pleased. I finally got my chance to make my dish this evening so here it is and enjoy. It only took as long as the rice takes to cook so it is a perfect after work weekday meal.
To a certain Norwegian friend of mine I have to admit now that this is not a recipe for dry fried beans but I blame you anyway, in a good way, for my chinese green bean thing.
Green Beans and Rice (Serves 2)
300g green beans
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 knob of ginger finely chopped
2 chillis finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
50g rice per person, washed thoroughly
Vegetable and sesame oil
Parboil the green beans, for 1 and half minutes, refresh immediately in cold water. Shake off the excess water and dry with a kitchen towel.
Put water (approx 2 and half times the volume of rice ) into a saucepan containing the rice and bring to the boil. Boil hard for 2 minutes, reduce heat for about 10 minutes, put the lid on and leave off the heat without touching the lid for about 15 minutes. The aim is that if all the starch is out of the rice it will be nice and sticky.
Heat the oil in a pan, gently fry the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the green beans and stir fry. I kept them moving as much as possible. After a few minutes add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until you are satisfied with the texture.
Serve with soy sauce.
If it is nice and spicy a nice fresh mango will make an excellent desert.
We cooked way too much rice so now have 3 lunch sized portions. On Thursday night we will be experiencing the delights of a Helsinki Island restaurant and trying fresh crayfish for the first time. Should be a good evening. Hopefully we will also get the chance to catch up with friends so blogging might be light.