When you cut long beans lengthwise, they seem like noodles but are much lower in carbs.
Pre-baked tofu is chewier and holds its shape better, but if desired, you can use fresh tofu instead: Pan-fry it in a nonstick pan with a little peanut oil for several minutes per side, until golden brown, and set it aside while you prepare the beans; return the tofu to the dish to glaze at the end.
- 4 ounces Chinese long beans, green or purple, ends trimmed (available in Asian markets; may substitute thin green beans)
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup 100 percent pure coconut water, such as Vita Coco or Zico brand
- 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lime (1 or 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 5 ounces (about 1 cup) Baked Marinated Tofu (see related recipe)
- 1 tablespoon chopped roasted, salted peanuts, for garnish
- Leaves from a few sprigs cilantro, finely chopped if desired, for garnish
Cut the long beans in half crosswise, then in half again lengthwise, creating super-long, thin pieces.
Combine the coconut milk, coconut water, soy sauce, lime juice, curry paste and brown sugar in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil.
Add the long beans, then reduce the heat until the liquid is barely bubbling; cover and cook until the beans are just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover, then add the tofu and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring and tossing to coat the tofu and the beans in the liquid, until the liquid reduces to a thick syrup, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a plate. Scrape any remaining glaze from the skillet over the beans and tofu. Garnish with the peanuts and cilantro, and eat.
From Food editor Joe Yonan, loosely based on a recipe in "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen," by Jack Bishop (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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