Here's a very simple, easy-to-cook but delicious Vietnamese/Thai dish that my new friend from Hong Kong taught me. Amy's Vietnamese long beans with Thai basil and pork mince was totally devoured within 5 minutes on the table.
This dish is best made with the old-fashioned green long beans. I couldn't find Lee Kum Kee's shrimp paste so I had to use oyster sauce for the xien/umami taste. Adjust the heat level by the amount of chilies (I didn't use bird's eyes chilies) and chili oil. For those who love the flavor of Thai basil (which is stronger than sweet basil) and veggies, this is a great dish to eat with rice. If I had iceberg lettuce, I'd use them as wraps. Kids will find this dish too vegetarian and 'minty' as my son did. Still, cook this and I know you'll like it.
Vietnamese Long Beans, Basil & Pork Stir-Fry
1 bundle (400 gm) green long beans, cut into 1 cm lengths
300 gm (or more if like) minced pork, seasoned with 1/2 t castor sugar, 1/2 t salt, 2 t light soy sauce
1 bundle (200 gm) Thai basil, leaves only
2 big red chilies, cut into small 1 cm pieces
2 bird's eyes chilies (optional)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small red onion/shallot, chopped
2 t shrimp paste (Lee Kum Kee brand)
salt to taste.
salt to taste.
3 T chili oil or use veg oil, or a combo of, for a less hot dish
1. Heat up a wok. Add oil and fry the garlic, onions and long beans, adding a large pinch of salt, under medium heat. Push the beans to the side of the wok, or dish it out. Add the pork (I prefer not to add more oil but you can), stirring well to break up it up, and then add the chilies.
2. Add the shrimp paste (substitute with chicken stock powder or oyster sauce as last option) and stir well to mix. Continue to stir-fry until all the liquid is gone (the dish tastes better dry). Season with more salt and shrimp paste if necessary.
3. Turn the heat to high, add the basil leaves, stir through and dish up.
Serve with hot rice. I like it with crisp iceberg lettuce.