Recipe by Milk Street. My alterations are always in parenthesis.
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional – I use 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided (I use 2 tablespoons)
- 1 pound green beans, stemmed and halved on the bias (I just snap them into smaller pieces)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- Ground white pepper (optional)
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until beginning to smoke. Add the beans and cook, without stirring, until beginning to color, about 3 minutes.
- Add the water and immediately cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook until the beans are bright green and barely tender, about 2 minutes.
- Clear a space in the center of the pan, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil (I don’t add any more oil) to the clearing. Stir in the ginger and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour the sugar-fish sauce mixture into the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened and coats the beans, about 1 minute.
- Off the heat, stir in the vinegar.