Makes 4-6 servings
Kosher or sea salt
1 pound of Chinese long beans or green beans, sliced into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, or more as needed
1/4 cup no-salt-added homemade or store-bought vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 or 4 dried arbol chili peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced (seeded, if desired)
4 to 6 scallions (white and light-green parts), thinly sliced
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; add a generous pinch of salt, then add the green beans. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until al dente yet still quite crisp. Drain in a colander.
2. Whisk together the tablespoon of soy sauce, broth, and sugar in a small bowl.
3. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet or wok over high heat. As soon as the oil shimmers, add the peanuts. Stir-fry for about 20 seconds. Beware, peanuts burn more quickly than you would think, so don't wait until they look browned. Add the garlic and chilies (to taste). Stir-fry for about 10 seconds, then add the scallions, and stir-fry for 10 to 15 seconds.
4. Add the blanched green beans, and toss to incorporate. Add the soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or just until the green beans are crisp-tender. Taste and adjust the soy sauce, as needed. Serve right away.
for Contemporary Kitchens (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2016)