Vegetarians, don't run away! I know the photo has meat in it, but I think this dish would be delicious without the meat. Why do I think that? Last November we ate at Chung King out in San Gabriel, California. Our cold appetizer selection included a marinated diced green bean dish — on the right in this photo — that haunts my culinary dreams. I've looked for recipes, but haven't come up with a match, but as a part of my exploratory trip through Land of Plenty I came across this dish that uses pickled green beans and dices them up small. Hmmm...
I have limited patience with dishes that require multiple days to make. I'll do them if motivated enough, but dinner at the end of the workday is usually not one of those times. It speaks to how much I've been craving that bean dish that I actually took the time to make the pickled green beans several days in advance.
And what a pleasant surprise it was to discover just how easy it was to do. I don't have a pickling jar, but I have several glass Planters Peanuts jars (saved for spice storage) that turn out to be just large enough to pickle half a pound of beans.
Our schedule being what it is, my beans ended up sitting for a week in the refrigerator instead of the recommended 1 - 3 days. It didn't seem to do them any harm. The finished dish itself is extremely simple to make. There's no sauce to speak of, just a bit of rice wine and soy sauce in the meat and a few spices. The main flavoring comes from the pickled beans themselves. I loved the salty-vinegary bites of green beans, and I think a meatless version would intensify the flavor of this dish. In any event, Joe and I devoured our beans and pork. My mother would be so proud. When I was a kid, we used to fight over getting me to eat even a spoonful of frenched green beans. I vowed to make a double batch next time because I suspect leftovers might taste even better. I may have to get a larger pickling jar.