Literally translated from Chinese Baike Wikipedia, preserved long beans refer to marinated long beans. The beans are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins that are beneficial and provide nutrients for the body. Among which is Vitamin B that helps to maintain a normal digestive gland secretion, gastrointestinal motility function, inhibition of cholinergic activity, aids in digestions and increase appetite.。
This is a dish that I have never forget to order when I dined in Hunan restaurants in China. The preserved long beans are sour and crunchy. Most of the time it was stir fried with minced meat and chillies. It is definitely a very appetizing dish.
Last year when I was dining with my wife in a Hunan restaurant in Singapore, I ordered this dish and my wife, who love any types of preserved vegetable like kiam chai (preserved mustard), Sichuan vegetable etc. immediately “hooked” on it. She loved the tanginess and crunchiness of the preserved beans. She requested me to search for a recipe and prepare this.. I never promised her but on the next day, she bought one bundle of long beans and asked me to prepare..
Since she is very serious wanting to have some homemade preserved long bean, I have “no choice” but to search for a recipe.. Well, there are plenty of recipes in the Chinese website and basically are the same…. Since I do not have any pottery urn in my house, I have used a glass bottle to preserved these vegetable.
It is considered as a successful attempt though the crunchiness was not as good as what I tasted in the restaurant.. Since member in my Facebook group are asking for my recipe , I have decided to share this recipe after almost one year of delay.. I will like to the take this opportunity to convey my apology to Ms. Cathryn who have been waiting for the recipe..
WHAT IS REQUIRED
- 10-15 stalks of long beans
- 2 red chillies
- 10 Sichuan peppercorns (花椒） – optional
- 5-10 cloves of garlic
- Adequate boiled water or unopened mineral water to cover the bean
- 4 tablespoons of coarse sea salt
- Some cooking wine to cover the top
- 10-15 strings of preserved long beans
- 5 cloves of garlic , chopped
- 2 chilies. chopped
- 50 grams of minced pork
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- Chicken stock powder to taste
- Dashes of white pepper
- Salt to taste
- Additional white vinegar, optional
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Wash the vegetables and wind dry or sun dry under the sun until the vegetables are dry to touch. You can wipe the vegetables first before drying for at least 4-5 hours.. This is very important as moisture can contaminated the whole jar.
- Meanwhile, get ready a metal bowl. Put the salt and pour boiling hot water on the salt and let the salt dissolved. Cool completely before the next step. If you are using bottled mineral water, this step can be omitted. Usually, 1 liter of water will need 50 grams of salt.
- Get ready a STERILIZED glassed container. You can sterilize the container by pouring some hot water or use 50% alcohol to wipe the container and use a clean towel to wipe dry the container. The container must be totally dry before the next step.
- Stuff the dry long bean into the glass container. Add the chillies. garlics and Sichuan peppercorns. Pour the cooled saline solution until it completely covered the vegetables. pour some cooking wine to seal the top the the vegetable. Close the lid tight and place in a cool airy area without sun exposure if possible.
- Marinate the long beans for a period of at least 7 days. The longer you marinate, the more sour it will be.
- When you purchase long beans, select those that are firm to touch. A bit skinny is okay . Do not buy those that are fluffy to touch. Those type of long beans will not give you a good texture.
- The long beans, container and other vegetables shall be free of any oil and raw water . If there is any oil in the long bean, the long bean will not be crunchy. Instead, it will become rotten.
- Once the preserved long beans are taken out from the bottle, it is best to consume as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will have to be kept in the fridge in Singapore’s weather.
- Take out the preserve long beans, clean and cut into small pieces. Chopped the chilli and garlic in small pieces too.
- In a wok, heat up 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and saute the minced garlic and chilli until aromatic. Add the minced pork, stir fry until it is set. Add the chopped preserved long beans, stir until well combined. Add the seasonings and have a quick stir fry for 1-2 minutes. The dish is ready to be served with white rice or porridge.
This is a niche recipe, meaning I do not expect many readers will try in this region. For those who have never try the dish before, in the even that you have a chance to try the dish in the Hunan or other Chinese restaurant and you like it, you can come back here and try preparing yourself.