Would You Cook This?

13 Sep

Before I dive into my eating adventures in Hong Kong (the city that makes me regret I have but one stomach), I thought I’d share this quickie with you all.

My first thoughts when I saw these at the supermarket were “What on earth are those? And what do you do with them?” Supermarkets are great because they have signs, unlike your regular markets where you have to ask the seller, and they rattle off something that you have no hope of remembering. These strange looking vegetables are kacang botol, or four-angle bean, so called for obvious reasons.

Despite looking a bit daunting (I thought they might be a cactus of some sort), they grow just like any other bean — slice the pods open and you can see the beans inside — and are mild enough to be eaten raw. I decided to make a traditional Malaysian dish, sambal kacang botol with shrimp, which is just the beans stir-fried with chili paste and shrimp.

If I was being authentic, I would have made my own chili paste, but I didn’t get started that early so I just used a pre-mixed sambal from the store. Cooking with sambal really makes me appreciate both the wet kitchen and its insanely high-powered range hood. If you’ve ever fried chilis in oil, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like misting your kitchen with pepper spray.

The cooked beans were nicely crisp, off-setting the spicy sambal. Even if you don’t have access to four-angle beans (and who knows, you might see it at your local Asian market any day now), you could make the same dish with string beans or green peppers. I think zucchini would be an interesting substitution as well, although it doesn’t have the same crunch factor. The link above is an easy recipe you can try.

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One Response to “Would You Cook This?”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blood Cockles « Straight Out of Kampung - October 19, 2010

    […] impressed by Malaysia’s “exotic” tropical fruits and vegetables. (When I served four-angle bean, the freakiest vegetable I could think of, my mother’s response was, “Oh, I saw that at […]

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