Feb 28, 2017

Healthier Version of String Beans with Fermented Dried Soybeans

Usually string beans are fried for this classic Asian dish, but to keep it on the healthier side, I boiled the string beans instead. To be honest, the flavor is not as satisfying as the oily version, but you still get all the essence from the fermented dried soybeans topping. Give and take, healthy vs. delicious, this dish provides something in between.

Healthier version of string beans with fermented dried soybeans -


  • 0.5 lb string beans
  • 4 tablespoons fermented dried soybeans
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice cooking wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar


Trim off the scallion stem and finely chop the remaining section. Trim off the chili stems and finely chop the remaining section too. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Peel and grate or finely chop the ginger.

Pinch the top and bottom tips of the string bean and pull downwards to remove the tough-to-chew strings.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the string beans. Cook till the texture reaches your preference. If prefer a fresher, crunchier string beans, cook for about one minute then blanch them. Transfer the string beans onto a serving plate.

Use a pan and drizzle some oil. Turn to medium high heat. Once the oil gets warm, add in scallion, garlic, chilies, ginger, and fermented dried soybeans. Cook till aromatic but not burning the garlic, should take less than a minute.

Add some salt along with a splash of Chinese rice cooking wine. Taste and adjust the flavor with salt. Give it a quick stir and cook till the mixture nearly dried up. 
Transfer the soybeans mixture on top of the string beans.

The fermented dried soybeans will expand during the cooking process, sometimes even double the size. You'll actually end up with much more toppings then it looks initially. 

The fried version tastes better, but definitely not as healthy as this one. With such strong and aromatic toppings, I can live with water boiled string beans for now. 

Other recipe using fermented dried soybeans:

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