Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stir-fried asparagus and snake beans with chilli jam and kaffir lime

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Chilli Jam:

* 1 2-inch square seedless tamarind pulp (from 16-ounce block; there may be some seeds), cut into pieces
* 1/2 cup (or more) hot water
* 1 1 1/4-inch-long piece fresh galangal or peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
* 3 cups vegetable oil
* 2 cups thinly sliced red onions
* 18 garlic cloves (about 3/4 cup), chopped
* 10 small dried red chillies soaked in water 30 minutes, drained
* 1/2 cup small dried shrimp (about 2 ounces), soaked in water 30 minutes, drained
* 1/2 cup palm sugar (use equivalent)
* 3 tablespoons fish sauce


Asparagus and snake beans:

* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
* 6 ounces snake beans (Chinese long beans) or green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
* 4 kaffir lime leaves
* 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
* 1 teaspoon sugar (use equivalent)



For chilli jam:
Remove any seeds from tamarind pulp and place pulp in mini processor. Add 1/2 cup hot water and puree until smooth, adding more hot water if mixture is thick. Using rubber spatula, press enough tamarind mixture through fine sieve to measure 1/3 cup. Set aside.

Heat heavy large wok or skillet over medium heat. Add galangal and dry roast until charred and tender, stirring often, about 8 minutes; transfer to bowl. Heat oil in same wok over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer onions to paper towels to drain. Add garlic to same oil. Cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with galangal. Add chillies to same oil. Cook just until slightly darker in color, about 10 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer chillies to bowl with galangal. Add shrimp to same oil. Cook 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve oil in wok.

Combine galangal, garlic, and chillies from bowl, onions, and shrimp in processor. Blend until paste forms (paste may not be completely smooth). Transfer paste to heavy medium saucepan. Mix in 1/4 cup reserved oil from wok and stir over medium heat until very hot. Add palm sugar, fish sauce, and tamarind pulp. Stir chilli jam to blend. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Transfer to bowl, cover, and chill.

For asparagus and snake beans:
Heat oil in large wok or heavy skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add asparagus, beans, and lime leaves; toss to combine. Add broth, sugar, and chile jam. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender and sauce thickens enough to coat, about 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl and serve.

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