Best Bet: Tempura green beans

MICHAEL DONAHUE / The Commercial Appeal
Tempura-fried green beans with a chili sauce are an addictive treat at Bangkok Alley.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

MICHAEL DONAHUE / The Commercial Appeal Tempura-fried green beans with a chili sauce are an addictive treat at Bangkok Alley.

I discovered a new snack: tempura green beans at Bangkok Alley. When I received my order, I said I couldn’t eat all 20 or so beans, but I ate them all. They’re addictive.

Chef Gai Klaimongkol attributed the good taste to the freshness of the green beans.

The beans taste like summertime, as though they were just picked. Coupled with the dips, I had enough to eat without ordering an entree.

A regular customer suggested he use green beans with their tempura batter, said Bangkok Alley owner Thara Burana. Snap beans are dipped into the batter with spices and then deep fried for about two minutes until they’re golden brown.

Bangkok Alley offered the beans as a special for a few months before adding it their menu’s appetizer list a month ago, Burana said.

They originally served the beans with peanut sauce, but switched to chili sauce instead. “More flavor,” said Joyce Parker, manager of the Brookhaven Circle location. “It’s a little bit spicy.”

The tempura green beans are very popular, Burana said. “(We’ve) almost tripled the amount of green beans we had to buy,” he said.

You can ask for other sauces to go with your beans. I tried a few, including a sweet chili sauce and the ponzu sauce. The latter is made with lemon juice and light soy sauce. When I finished the beans, I ate the sauces with a spoon.

Bangkok Alley locations include 715 Brookhaven Circle; 901-590-2585.

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