The green beans came down yesterday. It took the better part of two hours, mostly on a ladder, unraveling their fibrous, sticky tendrils off a nine-foot tall, wire grid support. We had twelve linear feet of pole bean plants. I found that wearing gloves made the job more clumsy, so with a small pruning nipper I tediously cut and tugged only about eight inches at a time away from the wire. After the support was cleaned of growth, I raked the yard and picked the sticky leaves off my clothing and shoes. (Strangely, they stuck particularly well to my shoelaces.) My arms were tired but the area looks tidy – ready for next spring’s peas.
Most of what was harvested I French-cut, blanched, put into heavy plastic bags and set in the freezer – to be enjoyed for future dinners. (Another big job.)
I selected the prettiest pound of beans to coat in batter and deep fry last night. The dipping sauce didn’t make the picture but it was soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, sesame oil and a teaspoon of sugar mixed together – a perfect complement to the crispy beans.
These were delicious. A perfect way to celebrate hard work, resulting in a stupendous season of beans.
Check out last year’s post showing how to use a bean slicer – a nifty way to French-cut green beans.
Sesame tempura green beans with soy dipping sauce
Dipping sauce ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon superfine granulated sugar
Tempura beans ingredients:
- About 4 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling on finished beans
- 1 cup beer (not dark – I used Stella)
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
Stir together the dipping sauce ingredients and set aside.
Blanche green beans in two batches by bringing a large pan of water to boil. Put half the beans into the boiling water and let them cook for two minutes. Using a large slotted spoon or spider, remove the beans from the boiling water and plunge into ice water. When beans are cool, remove from water and let drain on paper towels. Repeat with second half of beans, adding more ice to ice water if needed. These can be done up to two hours ahead of time. Just wrap them up and put them in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Let oil heat to 365 degrees F in a Dutch oven or wok.
Meanwhile, create tempura batter by whisking dry ingredients together. Add the beer and continue to mix until batter is smooth.
Take a handful of beans and place in the bowl with the batter. Coat the beans with the batter. When oil is ready, one by one, shake off excess batter and carefully add to oil. Fry in batches, until they are golden and crisp, about 1-1/2 minutes. Remove from oil with a spider strainer to a paper towel lined sheet tray. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all beans are fried.
Note: I kept my beans warm in a 200 degree oven until all were done. Serve these as soon as possible.