8 as an appetizer or side dish
Adapted from "Beyond the Great Wall." This recipe is traditionally made with fresh fava beans.
1 pound (2 cups) fresh or frozen shelled soybeans
Scant 2 tablespoons peanut oil
5 dried red chiles
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon star anise pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken or pork broth or water
1. Rinse the beans
under cold water, drain and set aside.
2. Heat a wok
over high heat. Add the oil, swirl it around in the pan and heat until hot. Add the chiles and garlic and stir-fry until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the soybeans and the star anise and stir-fry for 1 minute.
3. Add the salt
and broth or water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are very tender, about 7 minutes. (Fresh and frozen take about the same time.) Turn out and serve.