1. Wash beans and trim off the ends.
2. Break them into 1-inch pieces
3. In a medium sauté pan, heat peanut oil over moderate heat.
4. Add the beans and toss in the oil until glazed.
5. Pour in water and add a generous pinch of salt and allow the water to come to a boil
6. Reduce heat, cover pan and steam beans for about 3 minutes.
7. Uncover and simmer for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until water has evaporated and beans are tender-crisp.
8. Stir in soy sauce or sherry according to preference.
9. Dish out immediately into a bowl.
10. Serve hot as a side to rice, grills or roasts. You can also use it to make a salad.