Runner Beans with Black Beans and Chilli (Jia Chang Dao Dou)
Me and Fen did a marathon today. Well I say marathon, it was actually a 5k – a distance so pathetically tiny it would be a mockery to even call it a ‘fun run’. Nevertheless, I wanted to make sure Fen was in tip top condition this morning – and surely there is no food more appropriate for running than runner beans?
Runner beans are called knife beans in China (for reasons that seem to flummox both Google and I). Although a staple of my childhood, I never realised how well suited they are for stir-frying. This easy recipe simply requires you to blanch the runner beans for a couple of minutes, then season with some chillies and fermented black beans – the same delicious beans used in twice-cooked pork.
This is a fantastically simple dish that makes full use of classic Hunanese seasoning, and pairs incredibly well with a more heavy meaty or fish dish (perhaps red-braised pork or Cantonese steamed fish). It’s spicy, salted, and has a tang from the soy sauce that I’ve never paired with runner beans before, but tastes great nevertheless. Judging by our performance at the 5k I can’t promise it will help your fitness (well it is an oily stir-fry after all), but I can at least guarantee that your Fen will finish her bowl all smiles.
- 250g runner beans
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ red chilli
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp fermented black beans
- 2 tsp ground chillis
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- Peel and slice the ginger and garlic. Wash the runner beans, top and tail them, then cut them into diagonal pieces
- Bring a pan of water to boil. Add in the runner beans and boil for 2-3 minutes until soft. Drain, shake dry, then set aside
- Put the oil in a pan under a high heat. Add the chilli, ginger and garlic, and stir-fry briefly being careful not to burn. Add the black beans and ground chilli and stir-fry again. Add in the runner beans and stir-fry until fragrant and delicious. Add salt and soy sauce, then serve
Based on a recipe from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice