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Author Notes: My deep love for the ma-la hot and numbing flavor of Sichuan cooking is often curtailed by my vegetarianism. Then, it occurred to me that veggie breakfast sausage could serve as a good substitute for the sweet/savory minced pork commonly used in Chinese cooking. Thus, this recipe was born, inspired by Julia Turshen's green beans in her cookbook Small Victories. I use Field Roast's Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage and order my Sichuan peppercorns from The Mala Market. —Sasha Anderson
- 1 pound green beans, with tips trimmed off and cut in half
- 5 ounces veggie breakfast sausage
- 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, ground
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/4 cup neutral cooking oil (grapeseed, canola, or safflower)
- Warm 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or pan over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the green beans and fry until charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Remove beans from the pan and set aside.
- Add remaining two tablespoons of oil and add the veggie sausage and heat through, then add ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, 3-5 minutes or until the sausage becomes crisp.
- Add green beans back to the pan, along with the soy sauce, black vinegar, and stock (can substitute plain water). Cook, stirring regularly, until all liquids have evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over white or brown rice.