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Chile-Hot Bright Green Soybeans with Garlic

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 15-20 min

Servings: 4

Recipe By: Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

From:  Beyond the Great Wall
Used with permission of Artisan

Other Side Dishes
Other Chinese
Other Beans

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Chile-Hot Bright Green Soybeans with Garlic

This attractive dish from the Bai people is traditionally made with fresh fava beans, also known as broad beans, but we prefer to make it with soybeans. We love their bright green color and tender texture, and their availability. We usually buy them already shelled, frozen, in one-pound bags. They're often labeled edamame, the Japanese name.

1 pound fresh or frozen shelled soybeans (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced store-bought pickled chiles or 5  dried red chiles
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon star anise pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mild chicken broth powder } or pork broth or water
2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water (optional)
Rinse the beans under cold water, drain, and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and swirl it a little, then add the chiles and garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the soybeans and star anise and stir-fry for about 1 minute. 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.)

If you wish, thicken the broth: Give the cornstarch mixture a stir and add it to the wok. Stir-fry for a moment, until the liquid thickens. Turn out and serve.

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