dry-fried green beans

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dry-fried green beansIn contrast to either snappy haricot verts or microwaved diner-style beans, Sichuan green beans are blistered and well cooked without being bland or mushy. With Sichuan pepper and dried chilies adding spice and smokiness to the flavor profile, these crisp yet tender beans become positively addictive. The most important thing to remember after washing your green beans is to dry them thoroughly before cooking; excess water droplets will make your hot oil spit. The trick to frying these green beans so that they are cooked through but not completely charred is using a bit more oil than you would for a stir-fry and briskly stirring the beans with a spatula. The 5 or 6 minutes of shallow frying allow the green beans to develop not only the characteristic wrinkled and blistery surface, but also a deep, caramelized flavor.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • ¼ pound green beans
  • sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1½ teaspoons chili bean sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 5 or 6 dried red chilies
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake or cremini mushrooms, finely
  • chopped
How to Make It
  1. 1. Rinse the green beans and dry them thoroughly; even a small amount of water will cause oil in the wok to spit. Cut the beans into 2-inch lengths.
  2. 2. Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the rice wine, chili bean sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  3. 3. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the green beans and stir-fry, keeping the beans constantly moving, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the outsides begin to blister and the beans are wilted. Turn off the heat, remove the green beans, and set aside to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. 3. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil and reheat the wok. Add the chilies, Sichuan pepper, garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for about another minute, until the mushrooms have browned and started to crisp. Add the sauce. Return the green beans to the wok and stir-fry for about another minute. Transfer to a plate and serve hot.

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