Snake Beans and Tofu with Sambal


I went to Chinatown this morning to shop for ingredients for this week’s Hester Nights event. Walking up Mott Street to Grand St, these gorgeous bright beans caught my eye. In this country, I’ve heard them called all kinds of things, everything from snake beans to yard-long beans etc. In Malaysia, we just call them “kacang panjang” which literally means “long beans”. So simple and yet, just descriptive enough for everyone to know exactly which beans one is talking about! For the purposes of this post, we’ll stick to “snake beans” since that’s what most people here call them. They were so fresh, I just had to buy some and bring them home. While walking around my favorite Chinese supermarket, I made a plan for what I would do with them. In weeks when I’m already cooking for a big outdoor market, I try to make cooking for my family as quick and easy as possible. I decided I would make a spicy tofu and snake bean stir-fry – something that would take me all of ten-minutes and yet make a delicious meal for the three of us. Here’s the recipe:

Snake Beans and Tofu with AMK SambalIMG_6581

1 lb snake beans – washed and cut into 1.5″ pieces

2 tbsp corn oil

6 garlic cloves – mincedIMG_6585

Salt to taste

1 package firm tofu or egg tofu – cut into 1″ squares

2 tsp AMK Hot Chilli Sambal

1. Heat oil in pan or wok  over high heat, then add the garlic and salt. Sauté until the aroma of this brings photo2your people to your kitchen, wanting to know when dinner will be ready. Works every time. Be very careful not to let the garlic brown as this will give your stir-fry a bitter taste – turn the heat down to medium if you need to. In Malaysia, veggies are cooked on high heat for a short time – this keeps all the nutrients in the veggies and maintains their crunchy freshness but requires that you have all your ingredients ready and within easy reach.

2. Add the cut up snake beans and give everything a good stir. Add two tablespoons of water to create some steam to cook them. Let it sit for about a minute.

3. Add the sambal. I used two heaping teaspoons for a pound of snake beans – adjust to your taste.photo1 You can always add more later if it isn’t spicy enough for you. Stir to combine. (I added another teaspoon – it didn’t look like there was enough sambal to sufficiently coat everything)

4. Gently add the tofu squares. Very gently stir to coat the tofu in sambal – the last thing you want is a mess of broken up tofu.

5. Serve over hot rice.

And there you have it! If you haven’t cooked a Malaysian meal before, you have now! Easy, right? Let me know if you make this dish and how it came out. Keep checking back for more ideas on how to use my Hot Chilli Sambal.   IMG_6615