Bright green soybeans with garlic

December 22, 2008
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Serves 4

In the western Yunnan province around Lake Erhai, the Bai people make this dish with fresh fava beans, write Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, who prefer to use soybeans.

1 pound (2 cups) fresh or frozen shelled soybeans
Scant 2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 dried red chili peppers, crushed
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon star anise pieces
1 teaspoon salt
About 1 cup chicken stock or water
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water (optional)
1. Rinse the beans and drain them.

2. Heat a wok or large skillet. Add the oil and when it is hot, add the chilies and garlic. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the soy beans and star anise and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the salt and stock or water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the beans for 7 minutes or until they are tender.

4. To thicken the broth: Stir the cornstarch mixture. Add it to the pan. Cook, stirring, for half a minute or until the mixture thickens. Adapted from "Beyond the Great Wall"


(Courtesy of "Beyond the Great Wall")
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