Wok-Charred Long Beans with Black Olives

See the RecipeAndré Baranowski

This recipe is based on one in Around the World in 80 Dinners by Cheryl and Bill Jamison (William Morrow, 2008). Cheryl, when she first had the dish, at the Hong Kong restaurant City Chiu Chow, was at once intrigued and baffled by its use of black olives (a little-known but traditional Chinese ingredient), until it dawned on her that their "salty accent lent the dish a pungency similar to Asian shrimp paste".

Wok-Charred Long Beans with Black Olives
Black olives lend this dish a pungency similar to Asian shrimp paste.
Yield: serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 12 lb. long beans
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 oz. ground pork
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 Thai chile, minced
  • 2 tbsp. Chinese black or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 12 lb. dry-cured black olives halved and pitted

Instructions

  1. Trim and cut beans into 2"-long pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans; cook until crisp-tender, 1–2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer beans to a bowl of ice water; chill. Drain beans.
  2. Heat oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; break into small pieces. Cook pork until browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a plate, leaving fat in skillet.
  3. Raise heat to high; add beans and cook, without stirring, until hot, about 2 minutes. Toss beans; cook, without stirring, until caramelized, 1 minute more.
  4. Add garlic, ginger, and chiles; cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, vinegar, and soy sauce; cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add olives and reserved pork; cook for 1 minute more.