Rinse the beans, put in a deep pot and add double the volume of cold water; bring to the boil and remove scum. Turn down to a fast simmer and cook for about an hour before testing one; continue cooking if it’s still a bit hard. Drain well in a colander when finished. While the beans are cooking peel the onions and slice finely into rings, pour the lemon juice over them, mix well and leave for an hour. Then add to the beans with the juice, herbs and spring onions and mix thoroughly.
Heat a wok to smoking point and put in the sesame oil, swirl around the wok and add the sugar snaps, keeping the heat on high (gas is best for this). Toss the snaps continuously for 1 minute, letting them blacken ever so slightly, then add the beans, toss for another minute, and last add the fish sauce, tamari and water. Cook for another minute and they are done.
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.