stir-fried sour beans & chillies

sour pickled beans

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.

stir-fried sour pickled beans


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.

Serves: 2-4
Cooking time: 5 mins

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  1. Hlaing on February 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    I make the sour-beans into a vegetarian salad. Just add sliced onion, roasted chilli powder, crashed ground nut, light soy sauce and garlic oil. It is delicious.

    • Cho on February 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm

      Thanks for sharing Hlaing. Sounds great – will try it next time.
      – Cho

  2. norm from australia on March 12, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    how do you make sour pickled beans? Thank you