This blog should be renamed – Stopping and Starting Vietnamese. But I have a really, really good excuse for the hiatus. You know, that darling little baby I told you about last summer.
Now that Little is eating more food, and loving everything we put in front of her, I’m getting back in to cooking. Usual modifications for our flavor preferences are upstaged by modifications for less sodium / sugar / spice. Not always easy with Vietnamese cuisine.
Not that we have to worry about flavors – the girl was squawking for more mouthfuls after her first slurp of bun mam, a fermented fish noodle soup that even took me several encounters to love. She hesitated a bit with stir fried bittermelon, but if that isn’t an acquired taste, I don’t know what is.
My frequent routine is to head to market Saturday or Sunday morning, and prepare protein or the most complicated dishes Sunday evening. If I cook ahead or at least marinate and have on hand the right proteins, all I need to do is prepare a quick fresh veggie and it seems like I was chained to the stove all day rather than in the office.
Lately these green beens have been a bright spot with our ca kho (caramelized fish) or ga kho gung (caramelized ginger chicken).
Vietnamese Stir Fried Green Beans
Serves 2 as a single side, 4 with multiple dishes
- 1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned and ends trimmed
- 5 green onions, using only 2 white bottoms
- 2 tbs neutral oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1-2 tbs fish sauce (or more, to taste)
- 1 tbs sugar
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp black pepper (or more, to taste)
Clean and trim the ends of your green beans. Roughly chop green parts of all onions, using only 2 of the white bottoms. If you want super onion-y dish, go ahead and use them all. If not, use in soup or kho caramel dish.
Heat oil in sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add green beans and white onion pieces, stirring to coat in oil and garlic. Add fish sauce, sugar and light soy, mixing well so sugar dissolves with the vegetables. Stir frequently and cook for a few minutes.
Add green onion pieces and black pepper, cook for another minute or two. Remove and serve hot!
Beans will still be crunchy. If you want them softer, you could add some water and cover to steam-cook before adding green onions and pepper at the end.
We usually make a more Chinese-style green bean dish with oyster sauce, but after the first serving, Anh is won over. We’ll be making these from now on.