Chinese chile bean paste has heat and flavor. And if you want your mouth on fire, you can always add more of the chile bean paste. But because it has the addition of fermented beans in the paste, the chile flavor comes through but the fire is toned down.
This is a perfect way to spice up those fresh spring veggies popping up at your local farmers market. When steaming or sauteing becomes too everyday, look to the heat! I have made this with asparagus and green beans to equal satisfaction. We ate it with tofu as well as fish, both great accompaniments!
Green Beans with Chile Bean Paste
1 lb green beans (or asparagus if they're still around!) trimmed and cut in bite size pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin (rice wine)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chile bean paste (or sambal olek or other such asian hot sauce)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat until pan is hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes until they begin to soften. Add chile bean paste and vegetables and toss to coat in oil and aromatics. Add soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar and cook until vegetables are tender but still slightly crunchy. Serve immediately.