Have you heard of the cooking technique called steam-frying? I know, it sounds like an oxymoron considering that no two cooking techniques differ more than steaming and frying. But, trust me, steam-frying works. The trick is to lightly fry ingredients using a minimal amount of oil or fat. A little liquid is added then the pan is covered to allow the liquid to turn into steam. The ingredients cook in the steam without getting soggy because you’ve fried them beforehand. The result is a cooked dish with a lightly “fried” texture acquired with no need to use a ton of fat and with no risk of burning anything during frying. This was how this dish of steam-fried mushrooms and green beans was cooked.
Mushrooms and green beans were lightly fried in butter but you can substitute olive oil. The dish won’t be as tasty but I understand that some people are scared of butter although I don’t understand why.
For the green beans, I recommend haricot verts but any thin green beans will be quite all right too.
Brown bunashimeji mushroom was what we had so that was what went into this lacto-vegetarian dish. You can use any mushroom variety that you prefer; just don’t use canned because you won’t get much flavor from canned mushrooms.
The sauce is a mixture of yogurt and Japanese mayo. Dill is added for a delightful citrusy flavor. Cayenne powder is sprinkled just before serving to add a spicy contrast.
Steam-fried Mushrooms and Green Beans
Make the sauce by mixing together the yogurt, mayo and 1/4 teaspoon dill. Set aside.
Snap off the tops of the haricot verts. If using regular green beans, you may need to pull of the stringy fiber on both sides of each pod too.
Cut off the root ends of the bunashimeji. If using other mushroom variety, trim as needed and, if they are large, cut into small pieces.
Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the haricot verts, mushrooms and garlic. Toss around for a few seconds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in a tablespoonful of water. Cover the pan, turn down the heat to low and allow the mushrooms and beans to cook for three to four minutes or until done.
Transfer the cooked mushrooms and haricot verts to a shallow bowl. Drizzle the sauce over them. Sprinkle in the rest of the dill and as much cayenne as you like.
Serve the steam-fried mushrooms and green beans at once.