In this recipe the shredded yacon and green beans are highly seasoned. The Yacon absorbs the color and flavors of the sauce and assumes a new identity. Shrimp Paste with Bean Oil is a wonderful sauce recommended by our friend, Chef Eddie Chong. It’s similar to the expensive Chinese XO Sauce. Look for it in Asian Grocery stores. It contains shrimp, garlic, soy oil, salt, peppers, MSG, (I know) and paprika. Hope the coming photo of the 7 oz. jar makes your shopping easier. To prepare without this sauce add 2 tablespoons minced dried shrimp, an extra garlic clove, and ¼ teaspoon paprika. The garlic, peanuts, chilies and paprika give this dish a delicious punch and even the shrimp can be omitted with good results. Yard long asparagus beans were used in this photo, they are interchangeable with green beans.
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 Serrano pepper deseeded and chopped or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 pound yard long or green beans trimmed and cut in 1.5” pieces
2 tablespoons water
8 ounces yacon, peeled and shredded
2 tablespoons Shrimp Paste With Bean Oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 teaspoon grated black pepper (2-3 twists of the mill)
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
Select a large lidded non-stick skillet. Lightly heat skillet and add garlic, ginger, Serrano pepper, and cooking oil. Stir briefly until garlic becomes fragrant and then add beans. Stir for 2-3 minutes with temperature turned high. Beans will begin to wilt and show darkened spots. Add water and cover with lid, turn temperature to medium and cook for five minutes. Lift lid during this braising period to stir once or twice, adding another two tablespoons of water if it evaporates. Add yacon, shrimp paste, soy sauce, sugar and pepper. The yacon will give off liquid and you will need to stir with a spatula to combine and evenly cook ingredients until beans are tender. Stir in peanuts, adjust seasonings and serve. Depending on the meal this dish accompanies you may want this to be a little sweeter, more garlicky or hotter. Try this recipe as written or with the suggestions above and then fine-tune it to your own preference.