Green Beans fried with Dried Shrimps

Sunday, September 15, 2013


What is in a name, you may ask? Haven't you noticed how restaurant dishes are named?

Name it right, and you can increase the price or make your menu sound more attractive.

Kalamansi instead of just lime.
Arugula instead of rocket.
Pullet instead of Spring chicken
And yeah, Spring chicken instead of frog meat
Onsen eggs instead of soft-boiled eggs

And the list goes on.

Now, how about Haricot Verts fried with Heh Bee and Sambal Chilli? 

Now that is a smorgasbord of languages in the name of this dish: French, Hokkien and Malay.

Relax, Haricot Verts is just "Green beans" in French. Get hold of some great green beans and you are good to go. I got mine from my favourite Veg seller and at $8 per kilo, this Australian crunchy and sweet beauty is good in almost any way you cook it.

Beautiful. You can eat it raw. 
As with all types of green beans, blanching it and then ice-shocking it is the best way to ensure crunchiness throughout and to retain it's colour. While you can certainly wok-fry it directly without blanching, the control over the doneness is harder, especially for home cooks as you do not cook this everyday.  

After blanching, you can take it in whatever direction you wish: a warm salad, quick stir fry with some garlic or as in the recipe I will share here, Haricot Verts fried with Heh Bee and Sambal Chilli. 

The Haricot Verts fried with Heh Bee and Sambal Chilli recipe

Ingredients
1 kg haricot verts (green beans)
half a bowl of dried shrimps
2 Tbps of Sambal Chilli
6 pieces of sliced shallots
Some salt to taste
2 Tbps oil

Method
  1. Trim the green beans and halve it. 
  2. Boil some water and when it is a rolling boil, blanch for 3 minutes.  Then ice-shock to stop the cooking.
  3. Soak the dried shrimps in warm water for about 3 minutes. Wash. Blend the dried shrimp till it is flossy. I use my Preethi blender and it does the job in 15 secs.
  4. Heat up the oil in a wok. Add the sliced onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add the sambal chilli and dried shrimp floss. Stir fry in low fire for about 3 minutes.
  5. Increase the fire and add the blanched green beans. Stir to mix. After a minute, remove and serve.
  6. If it needs more flavour, add some salt. While soy sauce can be used, I prefer the dish to have a fresh green look. 
Cooking Notes 
  1. As for blenders, I like the Indian type i.e Preethi blender (see photo for purchase instructions). These type of blenders are suited for Asian cooking, especially kitchens which cook a lot of curries, prepare spices etc. Whether wet or dry, large or small amounts, this blender do everything I need and it is efficient. 
  2. If you are eating the green beans after blanching without any more cooking, blanch a bit longer i.e. 3.5 minutes.   
  3. There are actually countless ways to cook this beans. My recipe here is just giving you some ideas. Experiment and sometimes, less is more, especially when the beans are already good on its own. 
And whatever you do, remember to give it a great name.

Haricot Verts in fragrant garlic sauce...
Haricot Verts salad with kalamansi dressing...
Haricot Verts in appetising Yuzu Vinaigrette
Haricot Verts in fermented shrimps (Cincalok)
Haricot Verts Amandine...

Blanch in rolling boiling water for 3 mins.
Ice-shocked in cold water
Dried shrimp floss in seconds using the Preethi Blender
You can get this pretty Preethi Blender (it has 3 different size jars, only on shown here)
from Shermay Cooking School (Address? Google yourself!)
Done. Crunchy and great colour. 

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