I love the acid, salt and heat of this classic Thai salad as a quick and easy side. The idea to tenderize the green beans and avoid a traditional Thai kruk (mortar and pestle) is an hack from a January 2012 recipe in Bon Appetite; the rest is my own and should allow a home cook to make the salad quickly with minimal prep work or overly exotic ingredients. Increase or decrease the sriracha to your liking. I chose parchment paper over a plastic bag when bruising the beans and crushing the peanuts because it's compostable and one less bag in a landfill. The parchment is also convenient to just lift and cradle the ingredients straight into the bowl. The dish is best chilled for 20-30 minutes, but can be served immediately. Allowing the salad to sit permits the the acid of the dressing to penetrate and pickle the beans. Enjoy! —Gregory Lopez
Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
juice of one medium lime
fresh green beans or Thai long beans, cut 1-1/2" - 2"
Add the sriracha, garlic paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and peanut oil to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Dip a piece of green bean into the dressing and taste for heat and acid and add more lime or sriracha to taste.
Place the green beans in a single layer between two sheets of parchment paper. Fold the edges of the parchment over to make a kind of envelope. Using the mallet (smooth) face of a meat tenderizer, bruise the beans (do not crush or pulverize them). If necessary do this in batches. Add to the bowl with the dressing. Use the same parchment technique to crush the peanuts and add them to the bowl. Finally, add the tomatoes.
Toss ingredients to combine. Can be served immediately but benefits from chilling 20-30 min. Enjoy!