Fuchsia Dunlop's Sichuanese Dry-Fried Green Beans

By • February 11, 2013 • 7 Comments


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Author Notes: From Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice. A few notes: 1) Feel free to reduce the chiles (or even omit the chiles, if any small humans vociferously object); the same goes for the numbing Sichuan pepper. But once the small humans start asking for this dish, you can slowly introduce said chiles and pepper. 2) You can make this without a wok, of course, but like almost all Chinese stir-fried dishes, it simply works better with a carbon-steel wok. (And they're relatively cheap and endlessly useful.) 3) The Sichuanese ya cai or Tianjin preserved vegetable are optional but fantastic -- they add what Dunlop calls a savory kick. Both should be available in a decent Chinese grocery, but look them up before you go, so you'll know what you're after. Nicholas

Makes enough for a small side dish

  • 3/4 pounds green beans
  • 4-6 dried chiles
  • 2 scallions, whites only, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • an equivalent amount of ginger, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuanese ya cai or Tianjin preserved vegetable (optional but recommended; see note above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole Sichuan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
  1. Trim beans; snap them in half. Then snip the chiles in half and shake out and discard the seeds. If you're using the Tianjin preserved vegetable, rinse off the excess salt and squeeze it dry.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and blanch until just tender, then drain.
  3. Put your wok over high heat. Add the canola or peanut oil, then the chiles and the Sichuan pepper. Stir-fry just until the chiles begin to darken, then add the scallion, ginger, and garlic and cook for a few moments more. Add the preserved vegetable and stir a few more times. Then add the beans and stir-fry for a minute or two longer, until coated in the oil and the seasonings. Add salt to taste. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve.

Comments (7) Questions (0)

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Stringio

about 1 month ago Matt Yan

This recipe looks great, but I'm really interested in that mini bamboo spatula in the picture! What is that, and where can I find one? I've always used the typical metal spatula that my parents' used with their wok, but that little paddle-spatula looks so convenient and much less clunky.

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8 months ago Doug Herbert

I suspect that what James Rodgers did was assume that the Dry-Fried Green Beans recipe in Dunlop's Land of Plenty is the same as the Dry-Fried Green Beans recipe in Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice. The two are not the same. The Land of Plenty version has no blanching (and is the version generally made in restaurants). The Every Grain of Rice version does have a blanching step and is (as Dunlop notes) healthier than the all-oil version.

Stringio

about 1 year ago James Rodgers

These aren't dry-fried. These are blanched. The main appeal of her recipe is the wrinkled texture from flash frying the fresh beans in oil. You've misrepresented her recipe quite badly. (???)

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about 1 year ago Nicholas

It appears that you haven't read the recipe in Every Grain of Rice. (It's true that, strictly speaking, the dry-fried in the recipe name should be in quotes. But that's all I'll give you.)

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about 1 year ago Deni

Curious about the whole Szechwan pepper...do you remove them before serving? or can they be crushed and added?

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about 1 year ago cookingatdebras

"This was the most authentic Chinese dish I have had outside of China," said my husband. Outstanding flavor and bite, easy to make. Inspiring. We ate every last perfecly spiced bean. I didn't have Szechwan peppercorns, so I used regular black peppercorns, slightly crushed. Many thanks. It will become a regular dish in this household.

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about 1 year ago marilyn kraus

This sounds so good, I am anxious to try it. I love the beans in the buffets and am always looking for new ways of using veggies from the garden.