Broad Beans with Ham
250 g/8 oz fresh broad beans, pods removed
90 g/3 oz sliced leg ham
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup light chicken stock
1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
Slit the skins of the broad beans with a small sharp knife and remove them. Cut the ham slices into small squares, about half the size of the beans. In a wok or heavy frying pan heat the oil and on low heat fry the garlic for a few seconds, stirring and not letting it brown.
Toss in the beans and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add water, sugar and salt, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes over medium heat. The water should be almost all evaporated and the beans a bright green. Add ham and chicken stock and when it comes to the boil stir in the cornflour mixed with a tablespoon of cold water.
Stir until it boils and thickens, then turn off heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve immediately.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)