Leggy runner beans and Japanese mince

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASomeday soon I’m going to have to start paying for fruit and vegetables again, but right now my dad seems to have an infinite supply of very long runner beans and I am happy to be a beneficiary.

One way I like to eat them is in this Japanese style, where you make a sort of meaty sprinkle to go on top. In Japanese cooking, onions, garlic and ginger are seen to get rid of the “gamey” taste of meat (read more about that here) and sugar is often used as a seasoning. This recipe (from Harumi again) is a perfect example.

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Top, tail and string your beans (between 250 and 500g). Chop them into bite-sized pieces and then boil or steam until tender and set aside.

Chop a bunch (five or six) spring onions, peel and grate a couple of inches of ginger and two cloves of garlic. Finely chop half a red chilli.

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Fry the onions, garlic and ginger in a good slug of oil for a minute and then add 250g of pork mince (to make enough for two people) until browned.

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Season with two tablespoonfuls of light soy sauce and half a teaspoon of sugar. Sprinkle the meat over the beans like so many hundreds and thousands. Season with a touch more soy sauce and a pinch of chilli. Serve over steaming hot rice or up the bean content and treat it as a side dish.

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