The first time I saw this recipe, I thought you have got to be kidding – fresh green beans in Soy Sauce? Mind you, I like stir-fried vegetables same as the next guy, but those are typically a medley of vegetables – broccoli, carrots and snow peas immediately spring to mind. Quick fried, still retaining their bright colors and crisp texture. Most stir-fry cooking also enlists the aid of a thickening agent such as cornstarch to create more of a glaze or “gravy” consistency. These green beans are boiled in very little water, creating more of a “steam” effect. Once tender, the beans are drained, then tossed in a coating of nothing more that butter and soy. Yet that’s all it takes to make green beans the family is sure to love. Not everything Asian need come from a wok.
The first time I made these fantastic green beans was to serve alongside pork chops glazed in the wonderful sweet-salty flavors of brown sugar and soy. The chops were served with rice and I needed a splash of color for the plate. While I could have added a multitude of color with one of many stir-fried vegetable recipes, I was looking for something simple as a supporting character to the meal rather than a dish competing for the starring role. These green beans, on the surface, seemed to fit the bill. I’m here to tell you, they are more than a supporting character. These green beans have a speaking role that says “take notice” because they are transformed into something spectacular!
Sesame Soy Green Beans
3/4 pound fresh green beans
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
Trim ends of beans. If necessary, cut some of the longer beans for a more uniform size. Rinse and shake dry.
In a large saucepan add water. Place beans into saucepan, sprinkle with salt. Bring beans to a rolling boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender and nearly all the water has evaporated.
While the green beans are cooking, toast the sesame seeds lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shake pan and toast. Set sesame seeds aside.
Drain remaining water from the saucepan. Add the butter, soy sauce and sesame seeds to the green beans; toss to coat.
Transfer to a serving bowl or dish and enjoy!