Soybeans

Tangcu Douz

Preparation info

    Appears in

    Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook

    By Ellen Schrecker

    Published 1976

    • About

    Flavor: Reddish-Brown: OtherMeal: Easy, Cold

    Whenever Mrs. Chiang’s father invited a group of cronies or relatives over, her mother would make up a large batch of soybeans to serve with the wine. These crunchy, spicy beans are the traditional accompaniment of a Szechwanese drinking session, just as salted peanuts are in America. Mrs. Chiang’s soybeans are bathed in sauce and can’t be eaten with the fingers, which makes them poor candidates for a cocktail party. They are, however, the perfect introduction to a multi-course Chinese meal, and we often place a few bowls full on the table for nibbling before the serious eating begins. These beans are easy to prepare, and will keep for days in the refrigerator.

    Method

    Preparation

    6 cloves garlic Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your cleaver, but don’t peel them. Put them in a large bowl.
    ½ inch piece fresh ginger Peel the ginger, then chop it coarsely, into pieces the size of grains of uncooked rice. Put them in the bowl with the garlic.
    3 scallions Clean the scallions, then chop them, both the white part and about half of the green, into pieces about the same size as the ginger. Put the chopped scallions into the bowl.

    2 teaspoons granulated sugar

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon sesame oil

    1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

    ½ cup soy sauce

    1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes in oil (optional)

    cup water

    Then add the sugar, salt, sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, optional hot pepper flakes in oil, and water to the bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
    1-½ cups dried soybeans Rinse the soybeans well.

    Cooking

    (soybeans)

    Heat your wok or pan over a medium flame for about 15 seconds, then add the soybeans directly to the dry pan.

    Cook them carefully for 10 minutes, stirring them occasionally to keep them from sticking to the pan or burning. Then, when they are slightly brown and no longer inedibly hard but still crunchy, remove them from the fire.

    (sauce) Quickly dump them in the bowl of sauce. The hot soybeans will absorb the liquid, and in about 5 minutes they will be ready to eat.