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Dry-Fried Green Beans

Updated May 09, 2017
This image courtesy of Tara Fisher

Editor's Note: The next time you plan to serve Chinese food at home, you'll want to include these fried green beans on the menu! Quick and easy to make, this recipe for Dry-Fried Green Beans includes pork, soy sauce, and of course plenty of green beans, resulting in a dish that everyone is sure to love. Whether you're serving stir-fry, grabbing take-out from your favorite Chinese food restaurant, or simply want to make use of the abundance of green beans that have grown in your yard, this recipe is for you.

This is one of Sichuan’s most famous vegetable dishes. The green beans are traditionally dry-fried over a medium heat until they are tender and slightly wrinkled, although these days most restaurants deep-fry them to reduce the cooking time. If you want to minimize the oiliness, you can steam or boil the beans to cook them through instead of frying them, and then follow the rest of the recipe (from step 3) according to the instructions given below. This method is not authentic, but the results are delicious, particularly for the vegetarian version of the dish.

Serves4 with three other dishes

Cooking MethodStir-frying

CostInexpensive

Easy

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseSide Dish, Vegetable

EquipmentWok

MealDinner

Taste and TextureMeaty, Nutty, Savory, Umami

Type of DishVegetable

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces haricots verts or green beans
  • Peanut oil
  • 3 ounces ground pork (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuanese ya cai or Tianjin preserved vegetable, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Remove any strings from the edges of the beans and trim off the tops and tails. Break them into short sections (about 2 inches long).

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok, add the beans, and stir-fry over a medium flame for about 6 minutes, until they are tender and their skins are a little puckered. Remove from the wok and set aside. (If you want to save time, deep-fry the beans at about 350 degrees F until they are tender and puckered).

  3. Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok over a high flame, add the pork, and stir-fry for 30 seconds or so until it’s cooked, splashing in the Shaoxing wine and the soy sauce as you go.

  4. Add the ya cai or Tianjin preserved vegetable and stir-fry briefly until hot, then toss in the beans. Stir and toss, adding salt to taste (remember that the ya cai is already very salty).

  5. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and serve.

Variation

One restaurant I know in Chengdu cooks a similar dish with bitter melon, which is sensational. The melon is deseeded and cut into thin strips and then fried in the same way as the beans, until the strips are tender and slightly wrinkly. The final frying is exactly the same as in the recipe above, although they do add a few dried chiles and a couple of lengths of scallion, white, and green parts.

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