I've received emails in the past about various meals that have been posted. Most of those meals are family-style Chinese in nature, and those emails comment about the paucity of vegetable dishes. I'll let you in on a little secret....we love leftovers. The Missus also believes (perhaps a little misguidedly) that I can stir fry vegetables pretty well. And since we bought the Big Kahuna the Missus has problems with spending $$'s on vegetable dishes She believes we can do just as well at home. So we'll stretch our leftovers adding vegetable dishes along the way. Works well for us, so I thought I'd start posting on a few of those dishes, all of which are very simple, so I hope you don't mind.
Here's a dish that you don't need a Big Kahuna for, a classic Sichuan dish that you'll find everywhere, even in Americanized Sichuan Restaurants.
I've changed this dish a bit over the years. To be able to create this dish on impulse, without too much planning, I replaced the ground pork with dried shrimp. Also, instead of deep frying the beans, I've adopted the "dry-frying" technique that Fuchsia Dunlop uses in her wonderful cookbook, Land of Plenty. It takes a bit more time, but there's no wasted oil, and instead of adding more oil to the dish after dry-frying the green beans, I add my chilies and other ingredients directly to the remaining oil, and this creates even more flavor. I'm also pretty specific regarding a few other items in the dish. I'll use drinking quality Shaoxing wine, it has a mellower and smoother flavor. If you can find good Tianjin preserved vegetable, or really good Ya Cai (Sichuan pickled mustard green leaves), I'm sure it'll make this dish even better. I just used what I had in the cupboard, canned shredded Sichuan preserved vegetable. I've made the Sichuan Peppercorn optional, since the Missus doesn't care for the flavor in this dish. I've also made a similar dish using asparagus. I'll blanch the asparagus first, than do a brief "dry fry", before finishing the dish in the same manner as the green beans.
So here goes.....
Dry Fried Green Beans
3/4 Lb green beans, rinsed, trimmed, and de-stringed, cut or broken into pieces about 2" long.
3-8 Dried Chilies, deseeded
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tb Sichuan preserved vegetable chopped
2 Tb dried shrimp chopped (if necessary)
2 tsp Shaoxing wine - drinking quality
2 Tb Premium quality light soy sauce
1-2 tsp ground Sichuan Peppercorn (optional)
1-2 tsp (or more) Chili Oil (hopefully you make you own at home)
1 tsp Sesame Oil
3-4 Tb Peanut Oil
Salt, if necessary.
1 - Heat your wok until it smokes.
2 - Add peanut oil, and turn heat down to medium.
3 - Add green beans and stir fry over medium heat(4-6 minutes) until the skins start to pucker.
4 - Remove the green beans with a slotted spoon(drain off excess oil) to a plate lines with paper towels.
5 - Add dried chilies to remaining oil and scald, add dried shrimp and stir fry until shrimps start to crisp.
6 - Add Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and stir fry.
7 - Add preserved vegetable, and stir fry until the vegetable is heated. Add Sichuan Peppercorn if desired.
8 - Toss the beans back into the wok and combine. Add chili oil. Taste, and adjust flavoring. Add salt if desired (you probably won't need to).
9 - Remove from heat and add sesame oil.
There you go.......