We have the first Yard Long Beans of the season ready in the garden. I get excited about these because even though in appearance they look like an extended French bean, the flavour and particularly the texture are quite different. These beans have a crunchy and crispy texture even when cooked, and a fresh flavour.
The other crop now ready are the pale green mild chillis. I can eat these straight from the plant and they are super pickled in mild vinegar.
I have to cook a dish that can use both of these ingredients. I bought a fresh pineapple in the market this week, and that reminds me of a fish dish that I had in Thailand some years ago. It was spicy and sweet and a little bit sour from the pineapple. Here is my recreation of that dish.
SWEET & SPICY FISH WITH PINEAPPLE
1 clove garlic
1 mild chilli
Piece ginger aprox 2cm x 1cm
1 cm Lemon grass stalk finely sliced
150 grams mixed fish and seafood – prawns, mussels, white meaty fish
Yard long beans
Half slice of fresh pineapple 1cm thick
Tablespoon sweet chilli jam/sauce
Teaspoon fish sauce/Nam Pla
20 grams dry roast Peanuts – roughly crushed
1 teaspoon chopped chives
Start with the aromatics, peel and finely chop the ginger and garlic. As thin as you can slice the lemon grass and chilli.
Prepare the fish. Peel and dehead the prawns, cut the fish into chunks, steam open the mussels if using them.
Heat some oil in a wok and add the above aromatics. Cook on a low heat for a few minutes.
Next the pineapple, cut out the woody centre and cut the rest into smallish pieces. Add to the pan and continue cooking .
Add the yard long beans cut into 3 cm lengths.
Add the bean sprouts
The pineapple by this time should have given out some of its juices. Add to these the fish sauce and chilli jam and mix in.
Add the fish, stir to mix with the sauce. Cover and leave to cook for five minutes.
Stir again and look at how cooked the fish is. It will most likely need a few more minutes but be careful not to overcook.
To serve, sprinkle with the crushed peanuts and chives and serve with plain boiled rice or noodles. If you want you can mix these into the pan of fish and pineapple to absorb the flavours in the sauce.