Inspired by a dish prepared by a South African chef, the seasonings—soy sauce, honey, ginger and Sriracha—for my beef-wrapped green beans are completely Asian.
The chef I am referring to is Siba Mtongana, host of Siba’s Table on the Cooking Channel. We saw her show for the first time a few nights ago and we loved how she adds such elegant twists to simple dishes. One dish, in particular, I was so smitten with that I jotted down notes as a reminder that I should make my version. The dish was asparagus, broccoli and green beans wrapped in bacon, sprinkled with sugar and baked. My version consists of green beans and carrot wrapped in sukiyaki-cut beef and braised in soy ginger sauce.
No, that’s not bacon wrapped around the veggies. It’s fatty beef sliced as thinly as bacon rashers. It’s called “sukiyaki cut” in the meat section of better groceries and supermarkets.
The green beans are haricots verts which have more crisp in them than the green beans that Filipinos call “Baguio beans”. Locally, haricots verts are marketed as “French beans”. If you can’t find haricots verts, choose very young and tender green beans. Mature ones will not work for this recipe.
Young and tender apply to the carrot too to make sure that they will get cooked through (I don’t like the mouth feel of raw carrot) in a short time and with very little liquid.
Wrapping the green beans and carrot strips with beef is the step that requires the most effort. But once you’ve done that, everything is just simple cooking.
Brown the meat in a little oil, turning the parcels around for even browning.
The sauce is poured in, the heat is lowered and the pan is covered. The vegetables and the innermost layer of meat cook in the steam.
Five minutes later, the veggies are tender but still crisp and the meat is cooked all the way through.
Trim the green beans by cutting off the tops and pulling off the strings on the sides, if there are any.
Peel the carrot and cut into sticks about 1/4-inch wide and about as long as the green beans.
Take 3 to 4 strips of beef and, on your work surface, arrange them in a slightly overlapping fashion.
Place 4 to 5 green beans and 4 to 5 carrot strips near one end of the beef. Roll as tightly as you can to make sure that the vegetables don't fall out when you move the parcel around. Repeat until all the vegetables have been wrapped.
In a measuring bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce.
Heat the cooking oil in a wide frying pan. Arrange the meat-and-veggie parcels in a single layer in the hot oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the beef over high heat, giving the parcels quarter turns for even browning.
Pour in the sauce. Add two tablespoons water. Swirl the pan around a few times to distribute the liquid.
Turn down the heat to low. Cover the pan. Let the meat-and-veggie parcels cook in the steam for about five minutes.
Remove the cover of the pan. Turn up the heat to medium. Continue cooking the meat-and-veggie parcels, turning them around, until the sauce is thick and sticky and coats the beef well.
Serve your feef-wrapped green beans with soy ginger sauce as an appetizer or a main dish.
If you like vegetables wrapped in meat, see also: