This is another dish I would not touch as a child, but as an adult I can’t get enough. Truth be told I hardly ever cook anything that does not contain meat (I could NEVER survive as a vegetarian), but there are days when I just can’t stand the smell or sight of anything meat related. This is one of those days. Though I used French beans (cheap at Costco) this recipe is also good for string beans and “bodi” which is also known as yard beans in other cultures (long beans in China). I got this recipe over the phone from my mom, as she’s the absolute best at making this. Let’s see if I can do her recipe justice…
1/2 kilo (about a lb) fresh French beans (trimmed and cut into 2-3 cm pieces)
1 medium tomato (diced)
1 medium onion (sliced)
2 cloves garlic crushed with the side of your knife and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (fresh ground works best)
2-3 tablespoons of coconut milk (cream)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Wash and trim the beans by removing the tips and then cut into 2-3 cm pieces. Also prepare the onion, garlic and tomato by slicing, dicing and crushing.
In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil on medium to high heat and add a 1/3 of the sliced onion. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, until they’re tender and starting to brown.
Gently (since the beans are wet from washing, it may splatter when it gets in contact with the heated oil/onion), start adding the beans to the pan. Remember to stir around a bit. Give this a couple minutes, then add the salt, black pepper, diced tomato, remaining sliced onions and the crushed garlic. Set the heat to medium and cover the pan.
After about 10 minutes, add the coconut cream. I usually get the cream coconut that comes in a block and I just cut a piece off and add it to whatever I’m cooking. But if you have the liquid form, that’s just as effective.
Here’s a pic of the one I usually purchase…
Cook for another 10 minutes or so and remember to stir every 4 minutes to ensure that everything get’s coated and cooked in the coconut cream/milk.If you find that the beans released any natural juices (water) while the lid was on, remove the lid during the final 4-6 minutes.
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So where’s the heat? You can spice things up by adding some sliced chili or habanero peppers while cooking.