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Chinese-restaurant bright snappy grean beans?

I love chinese restaurant green beans, but when i don't want to go out (or don't feel like a lot of oil or msg) how do i get green beans so bright, snappy and tender? i've tried steaming then ice-bathing, then stir-frying, but they're not quite right.

thanks!

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  1. You might be steaming them too long, madkitty. I usually bring a pot of salted water to a boil, cut off the heat, and put the green beans in for just a minute or two, just until they're that bright green, and then shock them in ice water.

    I like to make sure I drain the water well and even towel dry the beans before stir-frying to ensure that excess water doesn't steam them further.

    1. I steam them just until they turn the green I want, then shock them right away..also try to make sure there are not too many in the steamer.

      1. Madkitty, give them a rinse with a tb. of baking soda in a quart or so of water first. Or try blanching them super-briefly and then finishing: the brightness will set from the blanch, once the chlorophyll's activated by the heat.

        1. I steam them in the microwave and they come out bright and with a perfect snap. I rinse them and shake out extra water, then put them on a pie plate, cover and zap for about two minutes.

          1. I stir-fry them on high heat for a few minutes. Then I add a small amount of water. I cover it and let it cook for a minute or two. Unfortunately, I don't have the exact times or amounts because I do it by habit.

            3 Replies
            1. re: raytamsgv

              I do this too; I think the bit of water is what helps. A little oil, garlic then green beans with a bit of salt and a touch of water, then cover until it's the as cooked as I want it to be. Sometimes I'll add other things like hoisin sauce and sugar, sesame seeds a tiny splash of sesame oil, or I'll add oyster sauce, but that's usually what I do. :)

              1. re: S_K

                I'm glad you added the point about the oil and then the garlic. I do that as well, but I was too lazy to type it out.

              2. re: raytamsgv

                I do this as well, but sometimes will blanch or parboil before stir-fry.