Fuchsia Dunlop's Sichuanese Dry-Fried GreenĀ Beans

February 11, 2013
3.7 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
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 Day

  • Makes enough for a small side dish
  • 3/4 pound 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
In This Recipe
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melissa
  • Matt Yan
    Matt Yan
  • James Rodgers
    James Rodgers
  • Nicholas Day
    Nicholas Day
I'm the author of a book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World. My website is; I tweet over at @nicksday. And if you need any good playdoh recipes, just ask.

9 Reviews

Melissa June 25, 2015
One of my favorites from Every Grain of Rice. The blanching is key.
So. Good.
Valhalla June 17, 2014
I want to strive for authentic flavors, but so often I find really questionable ingredients (such as preservatives) in products at my local Asian market. I made some pickled mustard greens, so hopefully that will work in this.
Matt Y. February 18, 2014
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.
Doug H. August 11, 2013
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.
James R. February 26, 2013
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. (???)
Nicholas D. March 3, 2013
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.)
Deni February 20, 2013
Curious about the whole Szechwan you remove them before serving? or can they be crushed and added?
cookingatdebras February 17, 2013
"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.
marilyn K. February 14, 2013
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.