Wing beans - they're beans with.... errr wings.
I'd seen them before in Asian stores (they're used all the way from India to Vietnam & China) but not eaten them until recently....
...Green Papaya - a Vietnamese restaurant on Mare St (in Hackney) introduced them to me. I ate there with a few friends and the wing beans along with a crisp smoked tofu number were, unexpectedly, the most popular dishes on a well packed table.
I was doing some Asian food the other night and thought I'd do my own rendition of the dish. I wasn't certain what Green Papaya used i settled on dressing them with Chinese black rice vinegar, light soy, pinch of sugar and some roasted sesame oil and then scattering with toasted sesame seeds.
Very easy, but it came out how I'd hoped: crunchy interesting beans with sharp, salty, & slightly sweet sesame dressing.
See pic, which comes courtesy of professional snapper friend Wix (see www.jameswicksphoto.com), and basic recipe below...
Wing beans with black vinegar dressing:
Two generous handfuls of winged beans, cut into 2cm pieces
A tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
Dressing: 2 tablespoons of Chinese black vinegar, 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon white sugar & 1 teaspoon water.
Blanch the beans in salted boiling water for 2- 3mins, drain and then briefly refresh under cold running water (just a few seconds - so the beans stay warm but don't continue to cook and loose their bright green colour).
Mix the dressing ingredients together, taste and adjust if needed, then toss the warm beans in the dressing and finish with sprinkled toasted sesame seeds.
Would go well alongside many Chinese style dishes e.g some ginger-spring onion-soy steamed fish thing, or a slow braised hot pot (i.e rather than with something like a coconut based curry).
More recipes v.soon.