Spicy Beans with Crisphy Onions, Chile, and Mint
These are very hot little firecrackers from the orient. They can be used to add spice to almost any oriental dish. They dry very easily and can be stored and used this way for a long time.
1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed
2/3 cup vegetable oil
6 ounces small onions or shallots, very thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 fresh hot chile, such as Thai or serrano, thinly sliced (remove seeds if you are sensitive to heat)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until beans are no longer warm.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Fry onions or shallots in 3 batches, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3-6 minutes per batch. Working quickly, remove onions/shallots from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. They will get crisp as they cool.
Transfer 1 tbs of frying oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add chile and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and toss until beans are warmed through. Remove pan from heat, toss with mint, and add salt to taste. Top with fried onions/shallots and serve. This dish is best served immediately so that the onions/shallots stay crisp.