Today is the third day of fermenting the snake beans. With such warm weather in Sydney, I am optimistic the beans are ready for eating. In a cool climate it may take a week for the beans to turn sour.
With care the jar is pulled out of the tray of water then the banana-leaf lid is peeled back. The colour of the beans are still vibrant but they have reduced in volume by a quarter. A whiff of fermenting gas assures me the pickling process has worked. I pick a piece, wash vigorously under the tap to remove the salt and taste. It is wonderfully sour yet crunchy.
I am making a rich tomato vegetable curry for supper and the beans will be a perfect side dish. I remove half the beans and keep the remaining in the jar, covering with cling film. They will keep for a few days in the fridge.
100g home-made sour pickled beans
2 tablespoons oil
½ onion, sliced lengthways
2 dried red chillies, soaked and sliced
As it takes little time to cook this dish, I leave it to the last minute to stir-fry. Have all the ingredients ready before you start. Rinse the beans several times and test to make sure they are not too salty.
Heat the oil in a wok and stir in the onions over moderate heat. Soften the onions without catching colour, about 2 minutes. Add the dried chillies and toss with the onions until their fragrant is released.
Throw in the beans and stir-fry for a further minute until they have infused with the onions and chillies. The beans will go a shade or two darker but remain crunchy. Taste for seasoning as I find there is no need for additional salt. The beans have a wonderful earthiness and a tangy taste.
Cooking time: 5 mins