Thursday, 15 May 2014

D.K's Yunnan-Style Fava Beans with Chilies, Garlic, and Star Anise (vegan & gluten free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Dave Gahan ~ Deeper & Deeper
Foo Fighters ~ My Hero
Bonnie Raitt ~ I Believe I'm In Love With You
Dead Boots ~ On The Rocks
Paul Weller ~ Time Passes
Glen Campbell ~ Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)
Zucchero ~ Feels Like A Woman
Thunder ~ Only One
Bon Jovi ~ In These Arms
Def Leppard ~ Bringing On The Heartbreak
Garbage ~ Dog New Tricks
Foo Fighters ~ Stranger Things Have Happened
Jackson Browne ~ Take It Easy
Garbage ~ Dumb

As I stated yesterday I am still working my way through Donna Klein's The Chinese Vegan Kitchen for the second time. And I have been experimenting with a few side dishes and today's recipe was chosen because I am always trying to find new ways of cooking broad bean's as they are known in England. I have a love/hate relationship with them...I hate the need to peel each and every one and the smell they kick out as they are cooking...but I love the taste. One of my favourite hummus's is a broad bean based one. I decided to be pro-active for this recipe and I sat with my measured amount and peeled the skins whilst catching up with a tv show ML and I have been watching on Netflix...Alphas...heard of it? But despite this move to make the process easier...I still lost the will to live after the first However finally...FINALLY..all skins were removed and the beans were safely stashed in a tightly sealed box in my fridge until the next morning. I lost count of how many times I had to wash my hands to get rid of the that smell. Ewwww! I'm really selling them to you, aren't I? lol

In all honesty that was the hard part of making this dish because the rest of the kitchen work was simply chopping garlic and fresh chillies. During its cooking time in the hot wok the bean smell is minimised by the garlic and Star Anise so that really helped. I have no idea what I was expecting from this dish but what I ended up with was a little bit of a shock. Shock is maybe too strong a word but I definitely looked down at my wok and had serious...Huh! moment. I knew the addition of a cornstarch mix at the end of cooking would thicken up the sauce but the end result almost resembled mushy peas. Which I happen to like I was planning to serve mine with brown rice and steamed veggies but after seeing the results I really wasn't sure what to do with it. So I waited and thought...

...and still had nothing. I decided to simply just taste test them and I still could not decide if I liked them. The beans were beautifully cooked, the sauce comforting in its texture...definite heat from the combination of the chilli and Star Anise and although I'm usually a fan of Star Anise I felt it overpowered the dish. I confess I didn't get past the taste testing of this side dish but I will try it again in the future with a fraction of the Star Anise. It's definitely a spicy side dish and I will also try it again using edamame beans as D.K suggests. I think I will enjoy it better with the added freshness of the soy beans. I didn't dislike this side dish...I would just need to make a little change to it, for me to enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. But who may love it as D.K intended for us too. If you try it...please drop me a line at and let me know what you thought...

D.K's Yunnan-Style Fava Beans with Chilies, Garlic & Star Anise

Yunnan-Style Fava Beans with Chilies, Garlic, and Star Anise   Serves 6
(Recipe from The Chinese Vegan Kitchen/Klein)

2 cups shelled fava beans (broad beans) or 2 cups of shelled edamame 
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 - 2 fresh red chilli peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
1/2 tsp star anise pieces
1 cup low sodium veggie broth
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste 
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch blended with 2 tbsp water 

If using fava beans: In a medium stockpot filled with boiling water, cook the fava beans 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse immediately under cold running water to stop the cooking. To remove the outer skins, pinch each bean on the side opposite where it was attached to the pod; the bean should easily slip from the skin. Remove and discard the outer skins. Set the beans aside. 

In a wok or large non-stick skillet with a lid, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the chillies and garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the fava beans and star anise and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the broth and salt and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 15 minutes for fava beans and about 7 for edamame, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sesame oil and add the cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring, until liquid is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve over brown rice for a heartier meal. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have the glorious sunshine I do today...


NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Donna Klein and hers alone. I do send out thanks for a great cookbook. ~R~