Sautéed Green Beans with Spicy Korean Chili Pepper Sauce
My site has been on the fritz for a week. Apparently, my account was being “upgraded” to a new hosting server. Some kind of upgrade. I liked my old server just find when my site was up and running. Sigh… I guess it was a good thing it happened this past week. I’ve been swamped. And I’d completely neglected my blog. Look on the bright side right?
Now I’m being told that the server is going through “propagation.” Yeah, that’s right. Propa… wha?! In layman’s term, it will be another 24 hours before my site is back to normal. Apparently, it takes a while for all of the DNS servers around the world to recognize the change. Patience is the only remedy. Sigh…
I’ve had a crazy week. And on little to no sleep, I haven’t been in the mood to do much cooking. But I did manage to make some Sautéed Green Beans with Spicy Korean Chili Pepper Sauce (alternatively, Sautéed Green Beans with Gochujang Sauce). I started making this dish, because it was very reminiscent of the dried-fried string beans I enjoyed so much in Chinese restaurants. And I used to make this often – two to three times a week! But for some reason, it hasn’t made an appearance on our dinner table for quite some time. So it was about time I made it again.
As with many spicy Korean recipes, this is adaptable to your taste. If you don’t like things that spicy, just decrease the amount of chili pepper paste (gochujang) and increase the amount of tamari or salt. And you can use just plain old green/string beans. Or if you can find them, use haricot verts. They are thinner and longer than the American green beans, and work better for this dish. Shame on me; but I use frozen green beans or hericot verts when I’m in a pinch. Thankfully, the dish is still yummy.
These green beans add a kick of flavor to any meal. And although I can make a meal out of these beans (along with some brown rice), I usually serve them with some pan-fried tofu for the sake of protein.
Sautéed Green Beans with Gochujang Sauce Recipe
1 lb green/string beans or hericot verts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 scallion/green onion, chopped into thin rings
1 ½ -2 TB gochujang (Korean red chili pepper sauce)
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1-2 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds, crushed
1 TB canola oil for cooking
salt to taste
- Wash and trim the green/string beans. Drain and dry.
- Stir together minced garlic, chopped green onions (white part), gochujang, tamari, agave, toasted sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan. Once the oil has been heated, add the string beans and sauté until the beans brown lightly. The surface of the beans will appear whitish with gold brown hue. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the beans from the pan.
- Heat the pan again on medium heat. Add the sauce from step 2 to the pan. Stir the sauce like you would scrambled eggs – “folding in” the edges with the rubber spatula. Once the sauce starts bubbling and becomes fragrant (it will smell nutty and peppery, yum!), add the reserved beans. Lower the heat and mix well. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped green onion (green part). Mix gently. If necessary, salt to taste. If desired, garnish with additional chopped green onions and whole toasted sesame seeds.
Note: Make sure that you use toasted sesame seeds and oil. Taste will markedly differ. If you’d like, you can toast your own sesame seeds. It’s fresher and more flavorful.