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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's All Good

Shop Goodwill First!
I love drinking tea all day long, and I love fresh ginger, so recently I had a peanut-butter-meets-chocolate ah ha moment.  No matter what flavor of tea I'm drinking, and I am partial to green teas especially Jasmine,  I add a chunk of fresh ginger and good tea becomes great tea.  Because I drink tea all day long, I picked up this great thermos pitcher at Goodwill for just a few dollars and it holds two big cups - one teapot of water makes 3 cups, so I get one right away with 2 more hot and ready waiting for me.  

Ginger is also a fantastic ingredient to cook with and my newest cooking/recipe plan is to see what's on hand,  maybe recreate a favorite recipe (a la egg foo young from my last post), or go through the bizillions of recipes I've cut out of magazines, or downloaded, or picked up somewhere and thought "I want to make this" and then make it. Today's recipe actually fits every criteria - it's another Chinese restaurant favorite,  I had an easy recipe that I downloaded 2 years ago, and of course I had fresh ginger. 

Did I mention I also happened to have a large bag of fresh green beans and another one of my favorite Chinese restaurant dishes is the Szechuan Green Beans?  The recipe I had called for Chinese long beans but traditional green beans make a fine substitution.  You do have to stir-fry for quite a while but it's worth it.  Not only does it taste as good as the restaurant version, but I can say I actually made a recipe that I'd been saving.  What a good concept.
 Szechuan Green Beans
1 lb. fresh green beans or Chinese long beans
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. ginger, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. chili paste
1 Tbsp. lite soy sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
sea salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil

1. Wash the beans, trim the ends, cut into 2-3" pieces.
2.  In a wok or large saute pan heat 1/2 the oil until medium hot then add the beans and sprinkle with sea salt.
3.  Stir fry the beans about 8-10 minutes until they soften and get slightly brown, then remove from the pan.
4.  Add the remaining oil to the pan, turn up to high heat, and add the ginger, garlic, and green onions.
5.  Stir fry a few seconds then add the chili paste and continue to stir a few seconds more.
6.  Wow, that smells good, doesn't it?
7.  Now add the beans back into the pan, plus the soy sauce and brown sugar, and toss to combine.
8.  Good, you're done!
9.  Delicious hot, but very tasty cold too, with or without chop sticks.


  1. Yummy! I like your cooking plan and your recipe, especially step # 6!
    I haven't cooked green beans by stir-frying them the whole time; I always boil them a little bit first. But your recipe looks really good and I have the ingredients, so I'm in the mood to try it.
    We love ginger in our tea too and I think I need exactly that kind of thermos pitcher. Thanks for the idea.

    1. You could parboil or steam the beans a bit first to cut down on the stir fry time but I wanted to stick with the recipe (for once). Next time I'm at Goodwill I might look for an even bigger thermos, except then I wouldn't get the exercise of going back and forth to the kitchen to boil water!

  2. I really need to drink more tea... It's so good for you and I love it. I like boutique teas, have you tried Talbott Tea?

    1. I haven't tried Talbott but I'll keep it in mind. Thanks Louise!