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Mains, Sides

Dry-fried Sichuan string beans

Dry-fried Sichuan string beans
Los Angeles Times

Green beans that grow a yard long and also come in purple; melons that look like spiny cucumbers and when ripe turn bright orange, with huge pomegranate-red seeds; squash that can be eaten like zucchini when it's young or used ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes | Serves 4
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 pound long beans or string beans
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 ounces ground pork (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion

Step 1In a bowl, combine the broth, sugar and salt.

Step 2Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of the oil and add half the beans. Reduce the heat to medium and pan-fry, turning the beans with a metal spatula or tongs, until they have brown spots and begin to wrinkle, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Pan-fry the remaining beans with 1 tablespoon of the oil in the same manner and add to the plate.

Step 3If the unwashed wok is dry, swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and ground pork and stir-fry until the pork is no longer pink, breaking it up with a spatula, about 2 minutes.

Step 4Stir the broth mixture and swirl it into the wok. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the beans, tossing to combine, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, sesame oil and scallion and remove from the heat. Place on a serving platter. Serve at room temperature.

Note: This recipe comes from Virginia Yee by way of the new book "The Breath of a Wok" by Grace Young and Alan Richardson.


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