From Faith—So easy a child could make them… and so delicious they’re guaranteed to disappear before they reach the table. I’m talking about my friend Barbara Kafka’s Szechuan Green Beans that are cooked in your microwave oven and call for only 1 tablespoon of oil for one pound of beans. I should have known the first time she described these to me, declaring them, like her Incredible Melting Potatoes, “a triumph!” This recipe first appeared about 30 years ago in Kafka’s book, Microwave Gourmet. (She also wrote a New York Times column on microwave cooking.) She said then, and I agree, these are a must as a delicious side dish, but also great as a low-calorie snack or app before dinner. (If your large oven is busy, head straight to the microwave and zap these.)
- 6 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
- 2 slices fresh ginger quarter-size, peeled
- 2 scallions trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 pound green beans tipped and tailed
- Place garlic, ginger, and scallions in the workbowl of a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Remove to a 14"×11"×2" dish. Add oil and pepper flakes. Cook, uncovered, at 100% for 3 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook, uncovered, at 100% for 15 minutes, stirring 4 to 5 times.
- Remove from oven. Stir and serve hot or cold.
I made this for 10 people and 2 people could not do hot food, so they put it to the side. Others raved about it. So next time I will cook 1/4 of my beans not with the hot mixture, so I can serve hot and totally not hot beans at the same time.