Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Recipe #56 - Stirring the Pot: Tempura Green Beans with Chile, Garlic & Sesame Aioli
I can't even tell you how many times I bought the green beans for this recipe and then ended up using them for something else. I lost track. I wanted to make them while I could still find fresh green beans, yet I was afraid I'd love them too much to stop eating them. I was right! Tyler's Tempura Green Beans with Sesame Aoili are absolutely fantastic. I told myself that I would only eat 5 of them. Yeah, right! One bite of that green bean in a light, crispy, crunchy coating sent me over the edge. Scattered with crispy bits of garlic, ginger, and chile these green beans are beyond fantastic dipped in the sesame aioli. This appetizer is sure to be a hit!
Tempura Green Beans with Chile, Garlic, and Sesame Aioli
Adapted from Stirring the Pot
Time: 35 minutes
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced red chile (I used one cayenne pepper)
1/2 cup store-bought mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Tempura Green Beans
1 bunch green beans (about 1lb), root-end trimmed (1 pound usually equals 2 handfuls)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup club soda, chilled
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (about 4 sprigs), for garnish
For the aioli, heat sesame oil in a small pan over low heat. Add ginger, garlic, and chile and saute until fragrant and crispy. Drain ginger, garlic and chile and set aside, reserving the oil.
In a blender combine mayo, sour cream, and the reserved sesame oil. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Set aioli aside.
For the Tempura Green Beans, in a large bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and the 1 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add yolk. Gradually whisk in club soda, slowly working your way out from the center to form a smooth batter.
Pour 2-3 inches oil into a large heavy pot and heat to 375F. Dip green beans into batter, shake off excess, and fry a few at a time for 4-5 minutes, until golden and puffy. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with crispy fried ginger, garlic, and chile. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro and serve with Aioli.
Notes/Results: These were a huge hit and everyone loved them. The green beans remained somewhat firm, yet tender, and the tempura batter was extremely light and crispy. At times sesame oil can be a bit strong and I was concerned that the aioli would be overpowering, but that was not that case at all. It was a wonderful accompaniment to the beans. The crispy bits of chile, garlic, and ginger really added to the flavor of the dish. We kept trying to sprinkle those bits over our beans and finally decided to add the crispy bits to the aioli so that we wouldn't miss out on the flavor. A total hit all around. I would make these again when I wanted to splurge.