The common green bean is an unsung hero. When you think about it, you mostly only see it used alongside other vegetables in curries or stir fries, as one of the sides for grilled meats, or in a kootu or poriyal to accompany rice; it’s always that default vegetable that gets bunged in with other things. I mean, when was the last time you actually thought, “I wish this had some green beans in it?” I’m guessing never.
That said, this IS a side dish. But this is, I assure you, one that will make the humble bean stand out. I make it very often to go with a simple egg or kimchi fried rice. Aside from being a cinch to make, it gives you enough flavour with the rice without being too overpowering. The beans upon quick blanching retain their crunch and verdant colour, and the sesame—both in oil and seed form—adds a double-edged riot of flavour. And the best part? It takes ten minutes tops to make.
- 200 grams green beans
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3 small shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tsp oil (any flavourless kind)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- ¾ tsp sesame seeds
- ½ tsp red chilli flakes
- Salt, to taste
- Trim and discard the ends of the green beans. Bring a pot of water to the boil, blanch them for 3-5 minutes and drain.
- Add oil in a pan and sauté shallots and garlic until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce, red chilli flakes, and salt. Toss in the blanched beans, pour the sesame oil, and toss until everything is well coated.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and serve hot.