These green beans were like nothing I’ve had before. The sauce is sour, creamy and strangely addictive. Malt vinegar lovers will love this dish.
I found this recipe buried in a Time Life African Cooking recipe book from 1970. The book has many great vegetarian recipes that I hope to feature soon. Sometimes it’s good to turn a blind eye to the internet or glossy new cookbooks and find recipes that probably haven’t seen the light of day for a while. If I hadn’t done that, I never would have found this dish which was gobbled up almost immediately.
Instead of using dry mustard, I used some English mustard I had in the refrigerator. On a vegan note: I may try recipe this next time with an egg substitute to see what happens; however, I’m not sure if I’ll need to add anything else to thicken up the sauce. If anyone tries it with egg substitute, let me know how it comes out.
South African Green Beans with Sour Sauce
Recipes: African Cooking, Foods of the World, 1970
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound fresh green string beans, trimmed, washed and left whole
1/4 cup malt vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dry hot English mustard
In a 3-to-4 quart saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil over high heat. Drop the beans in by the handful. Return the water to a boil, reduce the heat to moderate and boil the beans uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are tender but still firm. Do not overcook them.
Immediately drain the beans in a colander and transfer them to a large heated serving bowl. Cover to keep them warm while you prepare the sauce.
Combine the egg, vinegar, sugar, mustard and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the top of a small double boiler* and beat vigorously with a wire whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Place the pan over simmering, not boiling, water, and continue to beat for 2 to 3 minutes longer, until the sauce thickens lightly and clings to the whisk.
Taste for seasoning, pour the sauce over the beans, and serve at once.
(Note: I don’t have a double boiler but instead used my wok atop of a sauce pan filled with water. The effect was just the same.)