With Australia being one big melting pot of nationalities we get a huge cultural influence in our food. Asian infusion is probably the most dominant and certainly my most favourite. This does not mean that you find fried rice or sushi on the menu at modern Australian restaurants – but you will find dishes such as this, where an Asian ingredient is used to liven up a meal.
To say these beans are great is an understatement – the dressing is a deliciously sweet and spicy combination with a gentle kick that comes from the mustard. In fact I spoke so highly of these beans to Mr Man that he cancelled his dinner plans and hot foot it home in eager anticipation – and they aren’t even dipped in chocolate!
1.1 kilograms/2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
1 tablespoon white miso (fermented soy bean paste)
3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots (scallions), dark-green parts only, divided
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hot English mustard
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
Working in batches if you need to, cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender.
Whisk miso, 2 tablespoons of shallots, vinegar, mustard, oil, and sugar in a small bowl, season dressing to taste with salt. Place green beans in a large bowl and pour the dressing over, tossing to coat. Garnish with almonds and remaining tablespoon of shallots. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: serves 6 as a side
Notes: White Miso is found in Asian specialty stores although the first time I made this was without the miso paste and it was great too.
Source: adapted from Anita Lo for Bon Appetit
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.