8, Oct 2009
Pan-charred long beans with shrimp and garlic

I’ve been trying to do dry stir-frying lately. The problem is I always chicken out and think I need some oil or liquid of some kind in there and end up with the more typical saucy stir-fry. I’ve also been wanting to master the long bean, which I like but have had mixed success with. Well this week I’ve been working on my long bean and I think I’ve got it right. This version came out pretty good, but of course you can mix up the meat and other vegetables however you like. The long bean is an adaptable fellow.


1-2 c long beans, ends chopped off, cut in 3-4in lengths
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 c beech mushrooms (bunashimeji)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cherry bomb pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, sliced
5 medium shrimp, completely dry
salt, pepper, olive oil, rice vinegar, smoked paprika


Heat a 10″ nonstick skillet on medium for 2-3 minutes. Add the long beans (no oil!) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir the beans occasionally for about 5 minutes, adding a little more salt and pepper as you like. The beans should start to wrinkle and shrink a little. Push the beans to one side of the skillet and add a tiny amount of soy sauce; let it burn off for a few seconds, and then stir the beans through the soy. Keep the beans moving for 2-3 more minutes, adding a little more black pepper. The beans should char a bit and continue to wrinkle and darken. Remove them from the pan.
Keeping the heat on medium (and no oil!) add the onions and stir them continuously. They will start to brown and pick up the charred bits from the beans. After about 3 minutes, move them to the side and add a little rice vinegar, let it bubble for a second, then continue stirring the onions. Give them about 6 minutes total, until they’re nicely browned and mellowed. Remove them from the pan too.
Next, the mushrooms. Let them sit for a minute or so, then stir gently. After 2-3 more minutes, give them a little soy, as before. They should pick up a nice brown color from the heat and soy. Remove them from the skillet!
Now add a little bit of oil to the pan, followed by the shrimp and chopped pepper. Add some salt and pepper and stir-fry until the shrimp are cooked, 3-4 minutes. Stir them all around to pick any left over charred bits. Remove from the skillet.
Finally, add a little pool of oil to the pan and let it heat briefly. Add some smoked paprika and stir fry it in the oil until it gets red and fragrant. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Add every back in except the shrimp and green onions. Stir it all together for a minute or so. Turn off the heat, mix in the green onions, and serve with the shrimp on top.