Thursday, July 4, 2013

'Chinese Buffet' Green Beans

Happy Fourth of July! Nothing says Independence Day like 'Chinese Buffet' Green Beans.  I actually made these yesterday and will eat normal Fourth of July foods like hamburgers and watermelon.  I have not been home for the Fourth of July for a few years, which makes me a little sad.  When I am at home, we usually do a hike in the desert and have a barbeque at my aunt and uncle's home.  If the watermelons are ready, we eat ample servings of fresh, crisp melon. 

I found this recipe because I was searching for ways to use oyster sauce.  I have never bought or used oyster sauce until last month and am not certain what to do with it.  I doubled the recipe because apparently the only way to purchase green beans at my local supermarket is in 2 pound bags.

The other ingredients required for this recipe are 2 tablespoons of oil, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 pounds green beans, 2 tablespoons white sugar, 4 tablespoons oyster sauce, and 4 tablespoons.  I was going to by sesame oil like the recipe directs, but it cost $13.  I need to keep my eye out for less expensive sesame oil because I want to make cong you bing (葱油饼), and sesame oil is a required ingredient.  I didn't realize until now that the original recipe only asks for 4 teaspoons of soy sauce, while I used 4 tablespoons.    

I was afraid the green beans would be undercooked because I was using such a large amount.  I first cooked the beans in 2 cups of boiling water for 2 1/2 minutes.  After boiling them in a covered pan, they were drained.

 I combined the white sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.  Oyster sauce has such an interesting consistency.  It is viscous.  This isn't very appetizing, but it reminds me of mucous.

I stirred the garlic in the hot oil for 20 minutes.

I then added the drained green beans.  I stirred regularly while the beans and garlic cooked for 2 1/2 minutes.

I added the soy sauce mixture and continued to cook and stir for about 5 minutes.  I don't think I have ever talked about soy sauce.  That is tragedy that must be remedied immediately.  Soy sauce is made from fermented soy beans, grain, brine, and mold.  If you read food blogs, which you are doing right now, you have probably heard about umami.  Apparently soy sauce has the umami flavor.  Soy sauce began its young briny life in China many many years ago.  

I give this two thumbs up.  It might not be authentic, but it's fragrant and tasteful.  You should trust me; it's highly rated on allrecipes. 

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