The Recipe

Virginia Yee’s Dry-Fried Sichuan Sichuan Beans

According to Virginia Yee the beans must be fried until they begin to wrinkle. She stresses the importance of buying young string beans. This is a great make-ahead dish because the flavor intensifies if the beans are allowed to stand several hours after cooking.

How it's done

1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound string beans or Chinese long 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

  1. In a bowl combine the broth, sugar, and salt.
  2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and add half the beans. Reduce the heat to medium and pan-fry, turning the beans with a metal spatula, 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 vegetable oil in the same manner.
  3. If the unwashed wok is dry, swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and ground pork and stir-fry until the pork is no longer pink, breaking up the pork with a spatula, about 1 minute. Stir 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. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal.

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