I really love Szechuan Green Beans when they are well made – which unfortunately, just doesn’t happen all that often. My husband and I recently visited our local Chinatown and I decided to commit to a few authentic ingredients so I could make this dish and other Chinese foods we like. I ended up ordering a few ingredients through Amazon that I had forgotten.
I had mentioned in a much earlier post that whenever I decide to try something for the first time, I read between five and six different versions of the recipe, taking what I like best for my final product. This case was no different. One of the things that had put me off about making this recipe is that I hate to deep-fry foods. It’s messy, the house invariably smells and I always feel that I have wasted oil. So I was very excited when I found a recipe that showed a method for making the blistered green beans using my broiler and only one tablespoon of oil. The end result comes from 2 bloggers and a bit of me. Because this is not going to be part of a multi-course meal, I went a bit heavier on the pork. Some of the recipes showed this without the pork or dried shrimp, but I happen to like both so have included them here. Because you are using preserved foods, this will be a somewhat saltier dish than most.
Yield: Serves 5-6 as a side dish or 3-4 as a main course
1 pound fresh green beans (or long beans), rinsed, dried and ends trimmed
1/2 lb ground pork
2 Tablespoon dried shrimps, rinsed (rinse REALLY well) and soaked to soften, roughly chopped
6 whole, dried red chilies (such as árbol)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1/2 Tablespoon Szechuan peppers, crushed with a mortar and pestle or with the flat side of a large knife
3 scallions (white and light green parts) thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons finely chopped Szechuan, preserved mustard stems that have been rinsed (rinse REALLY, REALLY well!)
4 Tablespoons cooking oil (I use peanut oil)
1 Tablespoon hot bean sauce
1 Tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1.5 teaspoons sugar
a dash of white pepper
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons corn starch
Mix the meat with the marinade slightly ahead of time and left refrigerated until ready to cook. With the seasoning, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside for later use.
Adjust rack to as close as possible to broiler and preheat broiler to high. Arrange in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Drizzle green beans with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and white pepper.Broil until beans are blistered and very lightly charred, 2 to 8 minutes depending on strength of broiler. Set aside or place in a serving bowl.
Add 2 Tablespoons of oil to a hot wok. Add in the Szechuan peppers and dried chilies and toss, cooking until aromatic. Then add the dried shrimps, garlic, ginger, mustard stems and stir fry for 3-4 minutes and the dried shrimps are slightly browned.
Pushing everything to one side of the wok, add in the ground pork. Stir-fry until the meat changes color, breaking it down into smaller pieces as it goes. Mix well with the rest of the contents in the wok. Toss in the scallions and the seasoning mixture and stir to mix.
Add the cooked green beans and quickly mix through. I served this with brown rice.