I always use long beans in a Thai curry, but last summer I tried something different. Unfortunately, it took me months to finish writing about it. But then, this is California, and there are loads of green beans at the farmers market, so who is to say this isn't seasonal?
Liana Krissoff's Canning for a New Generation has a recipe for Fermented Yard-Long Beans which she based on a recipe from Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation. I haven't seen his version, but I realized that this is made exactly the same way kim chi is made. My favorite kim chi recipe uses 1/4 cup salt to a cup of water, and this one uses 1/2 cup salt to 12 cups of water, but the idea is the same. Submerge vegetables in a brine long enough for the fermentation to work a transformation. It's the chile powder, garlic and ginger that make the kim chi taste Korean, so I was curious to try long beans pickled with nothing but chile pepper.
They taste Chinese! And wonderful.
I tried these in a stir fry and thought they were very good. A few of these add a bright acidic note which I really like. My children, however, hated it. You decide.
Two bunches of yard-long beans (they are long, but not a yard long...)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup salt
12 cups water
Trim the beans and cut them in half. Put them in a food-grade bucket or a big mason jar and sprinkle the pepper flakes over them. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour enough over the beans to just cover them. Now pour the rest of the brine into a gallon zip lock bag and seal it well. Put it on top of the beans to keep them submerged. Or make your life easier with this pickle press. I use mine regularly.
Now you wait three to five days. Some scum may form on the surface of the brine, and you can just skim that off. After three days, start tasting the beans to see if the appropriate sour pickle flavor has developed. It can't get much easier!
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!