I love string beans in all colours and forms. Green string beans are the highlight in this classic Sichuan dish, lightened up a bit. The beans are usually deep-fried for this dish, but dry-frying works really well and is less messy than dealing with a large container of oil. Adjust the spice level to your needs... the dried red chillies are of course edible, and perfect if you wish to have an inferno in your mouth! :-)
Spicy Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans
makes: 4 servings
- 1 lb. (~1/2 kg.) green beans, washed, trimmed, and cut into 3 - 4 in. pieces
- 6 - 8 dried red chillies
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 in. piece of ginger, minced
- 1 leek, halved and sliced
- 1 tsp. whole Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
- 3 tbsp. safflower oil (or any neutral oil, not olive oil)
Mix into a sauce:
- 1 tbsp. rice wine (sake is fine if you don't have Chinese rice wine)
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. chilli bean sauce (any chilli bean sauce is fine if you don't have the Sichuan kind)
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Pat the green beans completely dry with a towel.
- Heat a large skillet without oil and add the green beans. dry-fry the green beans for 4-5 min. stirring constantly so they don't burn. Add the oil into the pan and continue to dry-fry for 7 - 10 mini. or until the green beans start to wrinkle. Transfer the green beans to a bowl and set aside.
- Return the skillet to the heat and add the dried peppers, leeks, garlic, ginger and Sichuan peppercorn (if using). Stir fry until aromatic. Add the sauce and stir well. Turn the heat to high and add the dry-fried green beans. Mix well and remove from the heat. Adjust salt to taste.
- Serve hot with rice and a cucumber salad to cool things down.