Braised Chinese Long Beans with Coconut Milk, Ginger, and Crispy Shallots
Fish & Game - Hudson, NY
The pickled beans cut the richness of the braised beans in this unusual and delicious vegetable dish, which chef Pelaccio made for a brunch at the Beard House.
- 1 bunch long beans
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 Thai chilies, crushed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- One 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1 can coconut milk (13 ½ ounces)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fried shallot, to garnish
Remove three long beans from the bunch and slice into very thin rounds. Boil enough white vinegar (about 1/4 cup) to cover the bean slices. Add 1 teaspoon salt, Thai chilies, and garlic to the vinegar. Pour the mixture over the long bean rounds and let them pickle for at least half an hour.
Cut the remaining beans on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces. Blanch them in heavily salted boiling water until just al dente, less than 2 minutes. The water should taste like seawater. This is important because you want the seasoning to penetrate the beans and not just coat the outside. Drain the beans and shock them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further.
In a large sauté pan, cook the shallots in canola oil over medium low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the ginger. When the mixture is fragrant, within a minute or two, add the blanched beans and the coconut milk. Continue cooking the mixture, uncovered, until the coconut milk has reduced and coats the beans like a thick gravy, about 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Serve the beans in a shallow bowl, garnished with the pickled rounds and some of their pickling vinegar and the fried shallots.