There’s no better way to showcase fresh beans than with this simple and flavorful Chinese preparation. By combining purple beans, yellow wax beans, and regular green beans, you create a vibrant dish that is both visually appealing and delicious. Let’s dive into the world of blanched beans with a fragrant ginger soy sauce!
The Art of Blanching
Blanching is a common Chinese cooking method used to prepare tender greens and vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, choy sum, and green beans. It involves briefly dipping the ingredient in boiling water until it reaches the perfect al dente texture. Then, the vegetable is either drained or shocked in ice water to preserve its vibrant color. Finally, it’s served with a simple sauce made of soy sauce and oil.
But this dish takes things a step further. Instead of simply garnishing the beans with aromatics, we infuse the ginger directly into the sauce. This adds an extra layer of flavor that blends perfectly with the tender beans.
Chinese Blanching Tips
If you want to perfect the art of Chinese blanched dishes, here are a few tips from the experts:
Use the most tender and delicate vegetables at the peak of their flavor and freshness.
Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. Submerge them quickly in cold water to preserve their vivid colors. The cooking time should be just enough to bring out their optimal texture.
Mix the seasonings in a separate bowl and taste them to adjust the flavors until they’re just right. You can either drizzle the sauce over the ingredients, toss them to coat, or serve the sauce on the side as a dip.
Serve blanched dishes immediately after dressing them. This ensures that they maintain their vibrancy and flavor.
Chinese cooks often add a bit of oil to the boiling water, which coats the ingredient as you scoop it out. This adds flavor and gives the dish a beautiful gleam.
A Touch of Sand Ginger
In this recipe, I’ve added an optional amount of sand ginger to the soy sauce. Sand ginger is a rhizome used in southern coastal provinces of China and Southeast Asia. It has a unique flavor profile, best described as musky, peppery, and slightly piney. A pinch of sand ginger powder adds an intriguing dimension to the dish, enhancing its aromatic qualities.
Variation: Try Young Asparagus
In the spring, if you can’t find green beans, I recommend using young asparagus instead. Cantonese chefs eagerly await the arrival of the first asparagus after the cold season. With its delicate, pencil-thin stalks and crisp, sweet flavor, it makes the perfect substitute. Simply blanch the asparagus for 30-40 seconds until vibrant green, then prepare it as you would the green beans.
Discover More Chinese Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, you’ll find many more in my new cookbook, The Vegan Chinese Kitchen. Explore the rich flavors and diverse techniques of Chinese cooking in the comfort of your home.
So why wait? Treat yourself to a delightful dish of blanched purple green beans with fragrant ginger soy dressing. You deserve it!