Friday, July 9, 2010

Szechuan-Style String Beans

You can make this with Chinese long-beans, or common string beans (green beans.) I usually increase the amount of sauce (double or triple), and serve with steamed rice as a main course.

Szechuan-style String Beans
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate

6 to 8 servings as part of a traditional multi-course Chinese meal.
Serves 2 or 3 as a main course
1 tablespoon dried shrimp (can find in Asian markets, or on line)
1 pound string beans, trimmed and blanched until tender crisp, plunged into an ice water bath, then drained
1 ounce ground pork, chicken, or turkey (I usually use 4 ounces for a main course)*
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (I use more, and divide use)
1 teaspoon minced preserved Szechuan mustard green (I love this stuff in this dish, but it's difficult to find--- or substitute Kim Chee from the jar, finely chopped, or omit.)
1 teaspoon chili paste (from a jar; it's usually labeled Chili-Garlic paste), or more to taste
I usually double or triple these amounts depending upon how saucy I want the dish.
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons chicken broth, or stock
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Prepare green beans as directed above, don't overcook! You want them barely tender and still slightly crisp, as they will cook further during final cooking. Set aside.
Soak shrimp in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes; drain and mince.
Brown the meat in a little vegetable oil, when it is nearly done add half of the minced garlic & the minced dried shrimp. Stir until heated through. Drain and remove to a bowl or plate.
In the same pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil until hot.

Add string beans and stir fry for a minute or two until hot.

Stir in the remaining garlic, tossing & stirring until fragrant.

Add the meat/shrimp mixture to the pan of string beans, stir until combined then add the seasonings; tossing well until all is heated through.

Note: If you like a thicker sauce, as I do, make a slurry with a little chicken broth & corn starch: After vegetables are nearly done, stir in the additional chicken broth/cornstarch mixture a little at a time to the green beans & meat until the sauce is thickened to your liking.

Before serving taste and adjust seasonings.


Recipe adapted from "Chef Chu's Distinctive Cuisine of China"

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